Elon Musk

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pages: 398 words: 108,889

The Paypal Wars: Battles With Ebay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth by Eric M. Jackson

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bank run, business process, call centre, creative destruction, disintermediation, Elon Musk, index fund, Internet Archive, iterative process, Joseph Schumpeter, market design, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, money market fund, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Peter Thiel, Robert Metcalfe, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, telemarketer, The Chicago School, the new new thing, Turing test

See also promotions market leader, X.com (PayPal) as, 79 Martin, Paul, 64–66 AuctionFinder and shipping tools, 259–260 background, 97 customer service solutions, 108 departure from PayPal, 264–266 life after PayPal, 312 move to oust Elon Musk, 157–159 positions at X.com (PayPal), 75, 119 reaction to sale of PayPal, 279 response to credit card limit crisis, 127–128 “turn off Checkout” tool, 232 . See also “PayPal Paul” MasterCard sanctions on PayPal, 148, 198 McCormick, Andrew, 255 media coverage CEO change at X.com (PayPal), 112–113 Citigroup C2it, 177 eBay Billpoint tactics, 209–210 eBay buyout of PayPal, 289 eBay “Checkout” feature, 231 Elon Musk’s departure, 177–178 negative, towards PayPal, 179–180, 293–294 PayPal anti-fraud measures, 202–203 PayPal at eBay Live, 275 PayPal IPO, 224–225, 236 PayPal sales of shares, 246–247 positive, towards PayPal, 178 startups, 178–180, 310 town named after startup, 132 meetings communication by, at eBay, 297–298 at Confinity, 24–25 fine for latecomers at PayPal, 197 Melton, Bill, 10 merchant services team at PayPal, 212, 260 mergers and acquisitions Confinity and X.com, 69, 72–73 difficulties from, 113 by eBay, 307 PayPal and eBay, 302 message boards adding to PayPal site, 139 as customer service solution, 101, 107–108, 138–139 “damage control” on, 127 Metcalfe’s law, 42 Microsoft eBay’s tactics compared with, 205, 231 PayPal as “Microsoft of payments,” 26 “Million Auction March,” 186 mission PayPal, 26, 28 PayPal, difference from eBay’s, 307 .

See also legal actions against PayPal regulatory risks with PayPal, 121 less than banks with gaming, 214 need for clarification, 168 robot bidder, 55–60 Rockower, JoAnne background, 135 discovery about Billpoint listings, 206 life after PayPal, 312 role at eBay Live, 271 transfer to marketing, 234 “turn off Checkout” tool, 232 Rowe, Amy, 119, 124, 155 Ruckstuhl, Ann, 209 Sacks, David attempt to retain Paul Martin, 266 attitude towards competition, 56–57 cashflow crisis approach, 136–137 collaboration with Elon Musk, 110–111 continuation at PayPal under eBay, 295–296 debate over fee transactions, 149–150 deferral to Elton Musk production halt, 154 departure from PayPal, 303 The Diversity Myth, 7 eBay Live plan, 269–270 employee relations, 23 Eric’s concern about reporting to, 114 fight to keep PayPal name, 155 handwriting on wall, 301–302 hiring by Confinity, 15 life after PayPal, 312 management strength, 311 management style, 126, 184, 269 meeting with employees about eBay buyout, 287–288 Meg Whitman’s thanks to, 285 message board proposal, 100–101, 107 move to oust Elon Musk, 157–159 nickname, 32 PayPal banner ads innovation, 46–48 PayPal expenses reduction effort, 170 position at X.com (PayPal), 75 product team meeting at P/X, 117–119 reaction to Eric’s first day, 18 refusal to stop brands survey, 156 response to Eric’s call to break Billpoint, 261–262 “Scotty” promotion suggestion, 30 signoff on Palm application termination, 146 temperament, 46, 184 transaction guarantee rollout, 137–138 “turn off Checkout” tool order, 232 sales.

See PayPal milestones Super Bowl commercials, 30 Sydney Olympics, 155 telephone customer service at startups, 100 telephone networks, 41–42 Templeton, Jamie, 18 auction logo insertion tool (AutoLink), 52 dotBank feature challenge, 39 update of PayPal Web site, 81 web server crisis, 101–103 Thiel, Peter announcement of PayPal sale to eBay, 282–283 appointed day-to-day manager of X.com (PayPal), 162 attempt to retain Paul Martin, 266 blue hair dare, 198 career before PayPal, 7 CEO appointment in 2001, 197 choice of employees, 21 concern for employees’ opinions, 216–217 conflict with Bill Harris, 109–110 decision to diversify PayPal, 211 decision to sell PayPal, 302 discussion of Confinity and X.com merger, 73–74 founding of Confinity, 8–9 hiring of Eric, 5–7 IPO moves, 223, 244 leadership after Elon Musk’s departure, 163–165 life after PayPal, 312 machine analogy for PayPal, 196 main objective for Confinity, 41 management strength, 311 management style, 196–198 on “Nightly Business Report” (PBS), 202–203 one million dollar challenge to Eric, 43 out of loop, with Meg Whitman, 301 PayPal valedictory address, 293–295 PayPal “world domination” speech, 25–26, 269 position in X.com (PayPal), 70 public image, 298 reaction to eBay buyout offer, 237–238, 290 reaction to IdeaLab funded competition, 63 resignation from PayPal, 303 resignation from X.com (PayPal), 108–109 role in buyout by eBay, 285 role in Elon Musk ouster, 160 speculation about his leaving, 295 speech after Confinity/X.com merger, 77–78 tactics to combat “eBay threat,” 191 tactic to speed up IPO, 244 venture capital financing, 10, 14, 32–33, 89–91, 197 view of government, 8, 293–295 visit to White House, 197–198 Today Show, 132 transaction payment margins effect on PayPal deficit, 195 Peter Thiel’s explanation of, 196 trust bank status, 168, 241 Tuckfield, Paul, 153, 154 Tumbleweed Communications, 240 TV ads, PayPal’s non-use of, 30 TV publicity for startups, 132, 202–204 United Parcel Service.


pages: 368 words: 96,825

Bold: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dematerialisation, deskilling, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, fear of failure, Firefox, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, ImageNet competition, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jono Bacon, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, Narrative Science, Netflix Prize, Network effects, Oculus Rift, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, rolodex, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, telepresence, telepresence robot, Turing test, urban renewal, web application, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Also see Marcia Brown, Stone Soup (New York: Aladdin Picture Books), 1997. 17 AI with Hagel. 18 John Hagel, “Pursuing Passion,” Edge Perspectives with John Hagel, November 14, 2009, http://edgeperspectives.typepad.com/edge_perspectives/2009/11/pursuing-passion.html. 19 Gregory Berns, “In Hard Times, Fear Can Impair Decision Making,” New York Times, December 6, 2008. Chapter Six: Billionaire Wisdom: Thinking at Scale 1 Elon Musk, “The Rocket Scientist Model for Iron Man,” Time, http://content.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,81836143001_1987904,00.html. 2 Unless otherwise noted, historical details and Musk quotes come from a series of AIs between 2012 and 2014. 3 AI, XPRIZE Adventure Trip, February 2013. 4 Thomas Owen, “Tesla’s Elon Musk: ‘I Ran Out of Cash,’ ” VentureBeat, May 2010, http://venturebeat.com/2010/05/27/elon-musk-personal-finances/. 5 Andrew Sorkin, Dealbook: “Elon Musk, of PayPal and Tesla Fame, Is Broke,” New York Times, June 2010, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2010/06/22/sorkin-elon-musk-of-paypal-and-tesla-fame-is-broke/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0. 6 SpaceX, “About Page,” http://www.spacex.com/about. 7 Kenneth Chang, “First Private Craft Docks With Space Station,” New York Times, May 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/26/science/space/space-x-capsule-docks-at-space-station.html. 8 Elon Musk interviewed by Kevin Fong, Scott’s Legacy, a BBC Radio 4 program, cited in Jonathan Amos, “Mars for the ‘average person,’ ” BBC News, March 20, 2012, http://www.bbc.com/news/health-17439490. 9 Diarmuid O’Connell, Statement from Tesla’s vice president of corporate and business development, reported in Hunter Walker, “White House Won’t Back Tesla in Direct Sales Fight” in Business Insider, July 14, 2014, http://www.businessinsider.com/white-house-wont-back-tesla-2014-7. 10 Daniel Gross, “Elon’s Élan,” Slate, April 30, 2014, http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/04/tesla_and_spacex_founder_elon_musk_has_a_knack_for_getting_others_to_fund.html. 11 Kevin Rose, “Elon Musk,” Video Interview, Episode 20, Foundation, September 2012, http://foundation.bz/20/. 12 Daniel Kahneman, “Why We Make Bad Decisions About Money (And What We Can Do About It),” Big Think, Interview, June 2013, http://bigthink.com/videos/why-we-make-bad-decisions-about-money-and-what-we-can-do-about-it-2. 13 Chris Anderson, “The Shared Genius of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs”, Fortune, November 21, 2013, http://fortune.com/2013/11/21/the-shared-genius-of-elon-musk-and-steve-jobs/. 14 AI, September 2013. 15 Eric Kelsey, “Branson recalls tears, $1 billion check in Virgin Records sale,” Reuters, October 23, 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/24/us-richardbranson-virgin-idUSBRE99N01U20131024. 16 Forbes, The World’s Billionaires: #303 Richard Branson, August 2014, http://www.forbes.com/profile/richard-branson/. 17 Richard Branson, “BA Can’t Get It Up - best stunt ever?

_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0. 6 SpaceX, “About Page,” http://www.spacex.com/about. 7 Kenneth Chang, “First Private Craft Docks With Space Station,” New York Times, May 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/26/science/space/space-x-capsule-docks-at-space-station.html. 8 Elon Musk interviewed by Kevin Fong, Scott’s Legacy, a BBC Radio 4 program, cited in Jonathan Amos, “Mars for the ‘average person,’ ” BBC News, March 20, 2012, http://www.bbc.com/news/health-17439490. 9 Diarmuid O’Connell, Statement from Tesla’s vice president of corporate and business development, reported in Hunter Walker, “White House Won’t Back Tesla in Direct Sales Fight” in Business Insider, July 14, 2014, http://www.businessinsider.com/white-house-wont-back-tesla-2014-7. 10 Daniel Gross, “Elon’s Élan,” Slate, April 30, 2014, http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/04/tesla_and_spacex_founder_elon_musk_has_a_knack_for_getting_others_to_fund.html. 11 Kevin Rose, “Elon Musk,” Video Interview, Episode 20, Foundation, September 2012, http://foundation.bz/20/. 12 Daniel Kahneman, “Why We Make Bad Decisions About Money (And What We Can Do About It),” Big Think, Interview, June 2013, http://bigthink.com/videos/why-we-make-bad-decisions-about-money-and-what-we-can-do-about-it-2. 13 Chris Anderson, “The Shared Genius of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs”, Fortune, November 21, 2013, http://fortune.com/2013/11/21/the-shared-genius-of-elon-musk-and-steve-jobs/. 14 AI, September 2013. 15 Eric Kelsey, “Branson recalls tears, $1 billion check in Virgin Records sale,” Reuters, October 23, 2013, http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/24/us-richardbranson-virgin-idUSBRE99N01U20131024. 16 Forbes, The World’s Billionaires: #303 Richard Branson, August 2014, http://www.forbes.com/profile/richard-branson/. 17 Richard Branson, “BA Can’t Get It Up - best stunt ever?

Exponential technologies added physical leverage, psychological tools provided a mental edge, and the combination allows entrepreneurs to become true forces for disruption. This chapter, which marks the end of that psychological exploration, focuses on the mind hacks of four remarkable men, a quartet of entrepreneurs who have already harnessed exponential technology to build multibillion-dollar companies that forever changed the world: Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Larry Page. I’ve had the chance to work in varying degrees with each of these men. Elon Musk and Larry Page are both trustees and benefactors of the XPRIZE Foundation; Jeff Bezos ran the SEDS chapter at Princeton and has been passionate about opening space for the past forty years; and Richard Branson licensed the winning technology resulting from the Ansari XPRIZE to create Virgin Galactic. All four exemplify the central idea in this book, exhibiting a commitment to bold that’s fierce, enduring, and masterfully executed.


pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

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3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs

The SpaceX history in this chapter comes primarily through personal interviews with former SpaceX employees, NASA historians, and aerospace academics, and from video footage of Falcon launches. An independent fact checker verified the information in my reporting and I delivered material from this chapter to Elon Musk himself for firsthand verification. (Musk did not return anything.) Two major magazine profiles of Musk provide further biographical details: Chris Anderson, “The Shared Genius of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs,” Fortune, November 2013, and Tom Junod, “The Triumph of His Will,” Esquire, November 2012. 171 “I didn’t think there was anything I could do”: Chris Anderson, “Elon Musk’s Mission to Mars,” Wired, October 21, 2012, http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/10/ff-elon-musk-qa/all/ (accessed February 15, 2014). 172 NASA employed about 18,000: NASA’s headcount comes from “Space Organizations Part 1: NASA—Nasa’s Workforce,” Library Index, http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/987/Space-Organizations-Part-1-NASA-NASA-S-WORKFORCE.html, and the catalog of collaborators on the Apollo project is documented by Catherine Thimmesh, Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006). 172 “To make life multiplanetary” and the continuation of “human consciousness”: Musk often repeats these phrases in interviews, such as David Pescovitz, “Elon Musk on Making Life Multi-Planetary,” Boing Boing, April 10, 2012, http://boingboing.net/2012/04/10/elon-musk-on-making-life-multi.html (accessed February 15, 2014), and Junod, “The Triumph of His Will.” 174 over-the-top demonstration to create buzz: For more on Lady Gaga, Baumgartner, Alexander the Great, and 10x Storytelling, visit shanesnow.com/10xstorytelling. 175 “We choose to go to the moon”: John F.

As they waited beneath the giant screens broadcasting their rocket’s video feed from 4,955 miles away, the man behind their mission stepped into the mission control trailer at the back of the room. Elon Musk. The dark-haired South African entered, wearing his usual outfit—fitted T-shirt and jeans—and took command. The oft-mythologized billionaire—after whom Robert Downey Jr. modeled his character, Tony Stark, in the Iron Man films—was at the time simply a millionaire and perhaps not even that. Into SpaceX he’d plunged his personal fortune, which over six years had been whittled down to a stump. A few years ago, Musk had disclosed that he had enough money to attempt three rocket launches. He regretted saying it. Now, after two unsuccessful attempts to reach orbit, the eyes of his 300 exhausted employees, many of whom had worked 80-hour weeks during the summer, stared at the Falcon 1 video feed. And so did thousands of spectators around the globe. ELON MUSK GREW UP in Pretoria, South Africa, in a family of five whose patriarch left when the kids were young.

Two major magazine profiles of Musk provide further biographical details: Chris Anderson, “The Shared Genius of Elon Musk and Steve Jobs,” Fortune, November 2013, and Tom Junod, “The Triumph of His Will,” Esquire, November 2012. 171 “I didn’t think there was anything I could do”: Chris Anderson, “Elon Musk’s Mission to Mars,” Wired, October 21, 2012, http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/10/ff-elon-musk-qa/all/ (accessed February 15, 2014). 172 NASA employed about 18,000: NASA’s headcount comes from “Space Organizations Part 1: NASA—Nasa’s Workforce,” Library Index, http://www.libraryindex.com/pages/987/Space-Organizations-Part-1-NASA-NASA-S-WORKFORCE.html, and the catalog of collaborators on the Apollo project is documented by Catherine Thimmesh, Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006). 172 “To make life multiplanetary” and the continuation of “human consciousness”: Musk often repeats these phrases in interviews, such as David Pescovitz, “Elon Musk on Making Life Multi-Planetary,” Boing Boing, April 10, 2012, http://boingboing.net/2012/04/10/elon-musk-on-making-life-multi.html (accessed February 15, 2014), and Junod, “The Triumph of His Will.” 174 over-the-top demonstration to create buzz: For more on Lady Gaga, Baumgartner, Alexander the Great, and 10x Storytelling, visit shanesnow.com/10xstorytelling. 175 “We choose to go to the moon”: John F. Kennedy, “Moon Speech,” Rice Stadium, Houston, September 12, 1962, http://er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/ricetalk.htm (accessed February 15, 2014). 176 “The Internet taught me nearly everything”: Kosta Grammatis, Kosta.is, http://kosta.is/ (accessed December 20, 2013). 177 to provide free Internet: Kosta Grammatis’s “Buy This Satellite” campaign was featured in an article by Jim Fields, “Q&A: As Egypt Shuts Down the Internet, One Group Wants Online Access for All,” Time, January 31, 2011, http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2045428,00.html (accessed February 17, 2014).


pages: 181 words: 52,147

The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future by Vivek Wadhwa, Alex Salkever

23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google bus, Hyperloop, income inequality, Internet of things, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Law of Accelerating Returns, license plate recognition, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Menlo Park, microbiome, mobile money, new economy, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uranium enrichment, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero day

Davenport, “Let’s automate all the lawyers,” Wall Street Journal 25 March 2015, http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2015/03/25/lets-automate-all-the-lawyers (accessed 21 October 2016). 6. Kevin Kelly, “The three breakthroughs that have finally unleashed AI on the world,” WIRED 27 October 2014, http://www.wired.com/2014/10/future-of-artificial-intelligence (accessed 21 October 2016). 7. Matt McFarland, “Elon Musk: ‘With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon,’ ” Washington Post 24 October 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2014/10/24/elon-musk-with-artificial-intelligence-we-are-summoning-the-demon (accessed 21 October 2016). 8. Rory Cellan-Jones, “Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind,” BBC 2 December 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30290540 (accessed 21 October 2016). 9. “Hi Reddit, I’m Bill Gates and I’m back for my third AMA.

Effects of Autonomy and Transparency on Attributions in Human– Robot Interaction” (in: RO-MAN 2006—The 15th IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication, Cambridge, Massachusetts: M.I.T., 2006), M.I.T. (undated), http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~taemie/papers/200609_ROMAN_TKim.pdf (accessed 21 October 2016). 14. Kirsten Korosec, “Elon Musk says Tesla vehicles will drive themselves in two years,” Fortune 21 December 2015, http://fortune.com/2015/12/21/elon-musk-interview (accessed 21 October 2016). 15. Max Chafkin, “Uber’s first self-driving fleet arrives in Pittsburgh this month,” Bloomberg 18 August 2016, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2016-08-18/uber-s-first-self-driving-fleet-arrives-in-pittsburgh-this-month-is06r7on (accessed 23 October 2016). CHAPTER THIRTEEN 1. Generali (undated) http://www.generali.es/seguros-particulares/auto-pago-como-conduzco (accessed 21 October 2016). 2.

The Concorde was and, ironically, remains the future of aviation. Unfortunately, all the Concordes are grounded. Airlines found the service too expensive to run and unprofitable to maintain. The sonic boom angered communities. The plane was exotic and beautiful but finicky. Perhaps most important of all, it was too expensive for the majority, and there was no obvious way to make its benefits available more broadly. This is part of the genius of Elon Musk as he develops Tesla: that his luxury company is rapidly moving downstream to become a mass-market player. Clearly, though, in the case of the Concorde, the conditions necessary for a futuristic disruption were not in place. They still are not, although some people are trying, including Musk himself, with his Hyperloop transportation project. Another anecdote from London: in 1990, a car service called Addison Lee launched to take a chunk out of the stagnant taxi market.

The Economic Singularity: Artificial intelligence and the death of capitalism by Calum Chace

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, call centre, Chris Urmson, congestion charging, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flynn Effect, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, lifelogging, lump of labour, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Milgram experiment, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, post scarcity, post-industrial society, precariat, prediction markets, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

+Department+of+Transportation+Releases+Policy+on+Automated+Vehicle+Development [clxxxiv] http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/autos-driverless/ [clxxxv] http://www.wired.com/2015/04/delphi-autonomous-car-cross-country/ [clxxxvi] http://recode.net/2015/03/17/google-self-driving-car-chief-wants-tech-on-the-market-within-five-years/ [clxxxvii] http://techcrunch.com/2015/12/22/a-new-system-lets-self-driving-cars-learn-streets-on-the-fly/ [clxxxviii] http://cleantechnica.com/2015/10/12/autonomous-buses-being-tested-in-greek-city-of-trikala/ [clxxxix] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-12-16/google-said-to-make-driverless-cars-an-alphabet-company-in-2016 [cxc] http://electrek.co/2015/12/21/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-drops-prediction-full-autonomous-driving-from-3-years-to-2/ [cxci] http://venturebeat.com/2016/01/10/elon-musk-youll-be-able-to-summon-your-tesla-from-anywhere-in-2018/ [cxcii] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/01/11/elon-musk-says-teslas-autopilot-is-already-probably-better-than-human-drivers/ [cxciii] http://electrek.co/2016/04/24/tesla-autopilot-probability-accident/ [cxciv] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-35280632 [cxcv] http://www.zdnet.com/article/ford-self-driving-cars-are-five-years-away-from-changing-the-world/ [cxcvi] http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/autos-driverless/ [cxcvii] http://www.wired.com/2015/12/californias-new-self-driving-car-rules-are-great-for-texas/ [cxcviii] http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/autos-driverless/ [cxcix] It has been suggested that electric cars should make noises so that people don’t step off the pavement in front of them.

The term “singularity” became associated with a naïve belief that technology, and specifically a superintelligent AI, would magically solve all our problems, and that everyone would live happily ever after. Because of these quasi-religious overtones, the singularity was frequently satirised as “rapture for nerds”, and many people felt awkward about using the term. The publication in 2014 of Nick Bostrom's seminal book “Superintelligence” was a watershed moment, causing influential people like Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates to speak out about the enormous impact which AGI will have – for good or for ill. They introduced the idea of the singularity to a much wider audience, and made it harder for people to retain a blinkered optimism about the impact of AGI. For time-starved journalists, “good news is no news” and “if it bleeds it leads”, so the comments of Hawking and the others were widely mis-represented as pure doom-saying, and almost every article about AI carried a picture of the Terminator.

Suffice to say, we should make strenuous efforts to ensure that if and when we do create the first machines which are destined become superintelligences, we experience a positive outcome rather than a negative one. Anders Sandberg of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute summarised it well by saying that we should aim to become the mitochondria of superintelligence rather than its boot loader. He was referring to Elon Musk’s metaphor for how, if we are unwise and / or unfortunate, we could create the thing which destroys us, and saying that we should aim instead for the fate of the prokaryotic cell which was absorbed by another, larger cell and became an essential component of a new, combined, and more complex entity, the first eukaryotic cell. This book is concerned with the impact of “narrow” AI systems which fall considerably short of AGI.


pages: 209 words: 63,649

The Purpose Economy: How Your Desire for Impact, Personal Growth and Community Is Changing the World by Aaron Hurst

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3D printing, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, big-box store, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, Elon Musk, Firefox, glass ceiling, greed is good, housing crisis, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, means of production, new economy, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, QR code, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, underbanked, women in the workforce, young professional, Zipcar

It provides a clear path for not only creating a wildly successful organization, but affecting meaningful change on a systemic scale. It is a step-by-step guide to understanding how to make an impact as an investor, academic, employee, or simply as a voter. It does not belong to any one sector, and it transcends organizational structure. Electric Cars and the Diffusion of Innovations Theory Elon Musk is the man behind PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla Motors. He has successfully built a number of companies, but more importantly, he has moved markets. Elon Musk had a different kind of vision from the start: to build a market for electric cars, beginning with luxury cars, and then expanding over time to reach a broader consumer base. This was a rather specific vision; that is, it wasn’t simply about building an amazing electric car, it was also about creating an environment in which it could be successful.

Erik Hurst, Bob Epstein and Nicole Lederer, Ryan Gravel, Cathy Woolard, Tom Cousins, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, Craig Jelinek, Bernie Glassman, Juliet Ellis, Freelancers Union, Paul Rice, Charles Montgomery, Jacob Wood & William McNulty, Jennifer Pahlka, Melinda Gates, Jeffrey Stewart, Indra Nooyi, Ryan Howard, Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Steve Ells, Ray Oldenburg, Vivek Kundra, Tony Hsieh, Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk, John Tolva, Rob Spiro and Alon Salant, Yancey Strickler, Charles Adler, Perry Chen, Meg Garlinghouse, Mitchell Baker, Dr. Tom X. Lee, Elon Musk, Peter Koechley & Eli Pariser, David Payne and Michael Tavani, Michael Bloomberg, Rachel Kleinfeld, John Mackey, Michael Pollan, Brad Neuberg, Chris Anderson, David Edinger, Scotty Martin, Dr. Regina Benjamin, Frank Perez, Al Gore, Zack Exley and Judith Freeman, Ben Goldhirsh, Adam Grant, David Javerbaum, Dr. Jon Kingsdale, Jane Jacobs, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, Jorge Montalvo, Judge Jonathan Lippman, Justin Hall, Molla S.

Groundbreaking change was possible. And as the dot-com sector regained its footing after the crash, we saw whole industries transformed, as well as the way most Americans communicated and engaged in society. So many of the pioneers in social entrepreneurship, social media, and sustainability are from Generation X and were in some way engaged with the dot-com boom. Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger of Wikipedia, Max Levchin, Elon Musk and Peter Thiel of PayPal, and Chris Anderson of Wired and now 3DRobotics are just a few examples. The core leadership of the Purpose Economy today is from this often forgotten generation, who in many ways produced the architects and catalysts of the new economy. 4. Environmental, Economic & Political Turmoil The growing uncertainty in our society is moving people to find stability within themselves, and to identify the need, to develop empathy for those affected by turmoil.


pages: 144 words: 43,356

Surviving AI: The Promise and Peril of Artificial Intelligence by Calum Chace

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3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, brain emulation, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dematerialisation, discovery of the americas, disintermediation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Flash crash, friendly AI, Google Glasses, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of agriculture, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, life extension, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South Sea Bubble, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Wall-E, zero-sum game

Technological unemployment could force us to adopt an entirely new economic structure, and the creation of superintelligence would be the biggest event in human history. Surviving AI is a first-class introduction to all of this. Brad Feld, co-founder Techstars The promises and perils of machine superintelligence are much debated nowadays. But between the complex and sometimes esoteric writings of AI theorists and academics like Nick Bostrom, and the popular-press prognostications of Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking, there is something of a gap. Calum Chace’s Surviving AI bridges that gap perfectly. It provides a compact yet rigorous guide to all the major arguments and issues in the field. An excellent resource for those who are new to this topic. John Danaher, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET) Calum Chace strikes a note of clarity and balance in the important and often divisive dialogue around the benefits and potential dangers of artificial intelligence.

Perhaps computers will never demonstrate common sense. Perhaps they will never report themselves to be conscious. Perhaps they will never decide to revise their goals. But given their startling progress to date and the weakness of the a priori arguments that conscious machines cannot be created (which we will review in chapter 4), it seems unwise to bet too heavily on it. A lot of people were surprised when Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk said in 2014 that the future of artificial intelligence was something to be concerned about. Both men applauded the achievements of AI research, and the benefits it has delivered. They went on to ask what will happen if and when computers become smarter than people, and we find that we have created a super-intelligence. We will look at the detail of what they said later on, but putting that to one side for the moment along with the question of whether they are right to be concerned, why were so many people surprised?

A few scientists, like Roger Penrose, think there is something ineffable about human thought which means it could not be recreated in silicon. This type of extreme scepticism about the AGI field is rare. So the debate today is not so much about whether we can create an AGI, but when. It is this question that we will address next. CHAPTER 5 WHEN MIGHT AGI ARRIVE? 5.1 – Expert opinion Some people think it will be soon Elon Musk has made a name for himself as a Cassandra about AI, with remarks about working on AGI being akin to summoning the demon, and how humans might turn out to be just the boot loader (startup system) for digital superintelligence. Not only does he see AGI as an existential threat to humanity: he also thinks the danger will manifest soon. In a post at Edge.com (36) which was subsequently deleted, he said “The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast.


pages: 370 words: 97,138

Beyond: Our Future in Space by Chris Impey

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3D printing, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, California gold rush, carbon-based life, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Eratosthenes, Haight Ashbury, Hyperloop, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, Oculus Rift, operation paperclip, out of africa, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, phenotype, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Rubik’s Cube, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, technological singularity, telepresence, telerobotics, the medium is the message, the scientific method, theory of mind, There's no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home - Ken Olsen, V2 rocket, wikimedia commons, X Prize, Yogi Berra

Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think by P. Diamandis and S. Kotler 2012. New York: Free Press. 18. Quoted in “The New Space Race: Complicating the Rush to the Stars” by D. Bennett for the Tufts Observer, online at http://tuftsobserver.org/2013/11/the-new-space-race-complicating-the-rush-to-the-stars/. 19. “At Home with Elon Musk: The (Soon-to-Be) Bachelor Billionaire” by H. Elliott in Forbes Life, online at http://www.forbes.com/sites/hannahelliott/2012/03/26/at-home-with-elon-musk-the-soon-to-be-bachelor-billionaire/. 20. The Startup Playbook: Secrets of the Fastest-Growing Startups from Their Founding Entrepreneurs by D. Kidder 2013. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. 21. See The Economist, online at http://www.economist.com/news/technology-quarterly/21603238-bill-stone-cave-explorer-who-has-discovered-new-things-about-earth-now-he. 22.

He would empathize with what Robert Goddard said after the New York Times had declared his goals unachievable: “Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once achieved, it becomes commonplace.”16 In humanity’s future, Diamandis foresees “nine billion human brains working together to a ‘meta-intelligence,’ where you can know the thoughts, feelings, and knowledge of anyone.”17 The Transport Guru Elon Musk wants to die on Mars. Like Peter Diamandis, he’s sure that our future is in space and that we must become an interplanetary species. He was influenced by Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, but his vision has a darker, dystopian slant, since it’s also a hedge against threats to our survival: “An asteroid or a super volcano could destroy us, and we face risks the dinosaurs never saw: An engineered virus, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, catastrophic global warming or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us.

Musk’s life, however, continues to be a white-knuckle ride. In late 2013, his net worth dropped by $1.3 billion after reports of weak earnings by Tesla and SolarCity, and he separated from his second wife. Figure 21. The Falcon 9 rocket is designed by Space X and built in California. Its two-stage rocket can carry 15 tons to low Earth orbit and 5 tons to geostationary transfer orbit. Space X was founded by Elon Musk, the South Africa–born inventor and investor who made his fortune as the founder of PayPal. Musk has also been an innovator in terrestrial travel with his car company Tesla Motors. We see in this progression of space entrepreneurs the march toward youth: Rutan is in his early seventies, Branson in his early sixties, Diamandis in his early fifties, and Musk in his early forties. Yet they’re all connected.


pages: 376 words: 110,796

Realizing Tomorrow: The Path to Private Spaceflight by Chris Dubbs, Emeline Paat-dahlstrom, Charles D. Walker

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Berlin Wall, call centre, desegregation, Donald Trump, Doomsday Book, Elon Musk, high net worth, Iridium satellite, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Mark Shuttleworth, Mikhail Gorbachev, multiplanetary species, Norman Mailer, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technoutopianism, V2 rocket, X Prize, young professional

Mission control at Scaled Composites 29. Mike Melvill riding on top of SpaceShipOne 30. Brian Binnie and Mike Melvill in front of SpaceShipOne 31. Ansari x PRIZE successful flight celebration 32. Per Wimmer with models of WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo 33. Sir Richard Branson standing beside SpaceShipOne, 2I June zoo4 34. Sir Richard Branson with Burt Rutan during rollout of WhiteKnightTwo 35. Elon Musk in front of Falcon 9 engines, 8 January zoo9 36. Spaceport America concept design 37. The Russian-Ukrainian-American launch team in front of the Dnepr Space Head Module 38. Artist's conception of Bigelow Aerospace's first Orbital Space Complex 39. Sir Richard Branson in front of WhiteKnightTwo 40. Sir Richard Branson and Burt Rutan with VMS Eve and vss Enterprise, 6 December zoo9 It begins.

Walking around the cordoned-off VIP grounds, among mockups of some of the x PRIZE contenders dubbed the "Rocket Garden," was nearly every high-stakes player in the private human spaceflight business. The press and camera crews followed Diamandis and Eric Anderson as they made their rounds. X PRIZE contender Chuck Lauer was also on hand to witness the launch. A subset of attendees included big-money investors and would-be space travelers who had the interest and resources to pursue their dreams. Elon Musk of SpaceX and Titanic director James Cameron talked to the press about their plans. Space Adventures brought in a busload of its aspiring suborbital and orbital clients. The x PRIZE interns had their hands full with vip guests, including forty ofAnousheh Ansari's relatives. This event was demonstrating that space had definitely developed a cache among the wealthy, offering them everything from a $30 million visit to the International Space Station to five-figure deposits to place their names on the waiting list for a suborbital flight.

This event was demonstrating that space had definitely developed a cache among the wealthy, offering them everything from a $30 million visit to the International Space Station to five-figure deposits to place their names on the waiting list for a suborbital flight. And then there were the hightech "thrillionaires." Rick Tumlinson had already remarked that the promotion of public access to space had become something of a geeky status symbol. "It's not good enough to have a Gulfstream V, now you've got to have a rocket." "Space geeks" who had made their fortune in such technology-related ventures as PayPal (Elon Musk), Amazon.com (Jeff Bezos), Google (Larry Page), and computer games (John Carmack) were now directing their wealth into creating vehicles to carry people to space. Peter Diamandis, in acknowledging the rise of space money men as a unique moment in history, declared that "there is sufficient wealth controlled by individuals to start serious space efforts." On this day, Microsoft multibillionaire Paul Allen's $25 million investment in Burt Rutan's X PRIZE quest was about to face its first full test.


pages: 385 words: 101,761

Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum

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3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar

CHAPTER 6 147 It was 3:44 in the morning: “SpaceX Launch—NASA,” http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/ commercial/cargo/spacex_index.html, accessed September 7, 2012. 147 The Dragon capsule was free: Clara Moskowitz, “SpaceX Launches Private Capsule on Historic Trip to Space Station,” May 22, 2012; http://www.space.com/15805-spacex-private -capsule-launches-space-station.html, accessed September 7, 2012. 147 Just days after the launch: “Space X,” accessed September 7, 2012, http://www.nasa.gov/exploration/ commercial/cargo/spacex_index.html. 148 This flight was, after all: “Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Designer,” http://www.spacex.com/elon-musk.php, accessed September 7, 2012. 148 Many know Elon Musk: Ibid. 148 pretty much at the nadir: Encyclopedia of World Biography, http://www.notablebiographies.com/news/ Li-Ou/Musk-Elon.html#b, accessed September 7, 2012. 148 By 2002, eBay realized: http://news.cnet.com/2100-1017-941964.html, accessed September 7, 2012. 148 In 2002, Musk became the CEO: Margaret Kane, “eBay picks up PayPal for $1.5 Billion,” CNET News, July 8, 2002; http://www.notablebiographies.com/news/ Li-Ou/Musk-Elon.html#b, accessed September 7, 2012. 149 A year later he founded a second: Will Oremus, “Tesla’s New Electric Car Is Practical and Affordable, as Long as You’re Rich,” Slate, June 20, 2012, accessed September 7, 2012, http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/ 2012/06/20/tesla_model_s_new_electric_car_is _practical_affordable_for_the_rich.html. 149 But Musk said in his celebratory: Ibid. 149 In 2007, just before the biggest: Gabriel Sherman, “The End of Wall Street as They Knew It,” New York magazine, February 5, 2012, accessed September 7, 2012, http://nymag.com/news/ features/wall-street-2012-2/index3.html. 149 Historically, banks never accounted: Gillian Tett, Financial Times US editor and author of Fool’s Gold, shared this information at a March 10, 2010, presentation at Columbia University; Sherman, “The End of Wall Street as They Knew It.” 150 the majority of business school graduates: personal interview with Roger Martin; Rakesh Khurana, From Higher Aims to Hired Hands: The Social Transformation of American Business Schools and the Unfulfilled Promise of Management as a Profession (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010), 328–31, 349. 150 But by the end of the century: Ibid. 150 Top bankers received astonishing: Linda Anderson, “MBA Careers: Financial Services—A Breadth of Opportunity,” Financial Times, January 29, 2007, accessed September 7, 2012, http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/ 3baa68a4-ad5a-11db8709-0000779e2340,dwp_uuid=991cbd66-9258-11da -977b0000779e2340.html#axzz22nEQOvia. 150 When BusinessWeek ran: January 31, 2000, issue, cover story by Michael Mandel. 151 An inequality gap: Sam Pizzigati, “Happy Days Here Again, 21st Century–Style,” Institute for Policy Studies, March 13, 2012, accessed September 7, 2012, http://www.ips-dc.org/blog/ happy_days_here_again_21st_ century-style. 151 Alice Waters’s groundbreaking organic: “About Chez Panisse,” http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Chez_Panisse, accessed September 7, 2012. 152 Just as important, Gen Y: I joined Parsons in 2008, and I am indebted to my Parsons students for these and other insights into Gen Y culture. 152 You can pay about a hundred bucks: TechShop website, http://www.techshop.ws/, accessed September 7, 2012. 152 Make magazine, launched in 2005: http://makezine.com/magazine/, accessed September 7, 2012. 153 The Faires celebrate “arts, crafts”: http://makerfaire.com/newyork/2012/index.html, accessed September 7, 2012. 153 Generation Y, on the other hand: interviews with Kelsey Meuse in my classroom and after graduation. 154 Bombarded with as many as five thousand: Louise Story, “Anywhere the Eye Can See, It’s Likely to See an Ad,” New York Times, January 15, 2007, accessed September 5, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/15/business/ media/15everywhere.html?

When asked in an interview with ABC News’s Cynthia McFadden what she thought of Gaga’s song “Born This Way,” which shares a chord progression with the eighties classic “Express Yourself,” Madonna reflected, “It feels reductive.” “Is that good?’ asked McFadden. “Look it up,” said the Queen of Pop, smiling devilishly before reaching for her mug and taking a sip. While perhaps more rare than in the world of art and music, there are those in the business world who’ve learned to mine the past. Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, the first private company to send cargo to the International Space Station, has a replica of the Saturn V, the powerful rocket that sent twenty-four astronauts to the moon as part of the Apollo program in the sixties and seventies, on his desk. He no doubt has looked to the Saturn V as inspiration for the development of his Falcon rockets as he seeks to further commercialize space.

They sounded younger to me than the ex-military NASA voices I’d heard as a kid and, while there have been a number of pioneering female astronauts, the “official” voice of American space flight had always seemed to me to be male. It was truly exciting to hear, and reminded me how much space travel had changed since its early days. This flight was, after all, not a NASA voyage, but the maiden trip of a company launched by a dot-com billionaire. Many know Elon Musk as the co-founder of PayPal, the electronic system that allows people to pay and transfer money in P2P, or person-to-person, transactions, which have become the backbone of nearly all Web commerce. Without the company, we would be sending checks, money orders, and maybe even cash to eBay and Amazon every time we bought something online. PayPal got its start pretty much at the nadir of the dot-com bust, when Musk combined his company, X.com, with another e-commerce site, Confinity.


pages: 292 words: 85,151

Exponential Organizations: Why New Organizations Are Ten Times Better, Faster, and Cheaper Than Yours (And What to Do About It) by Salim Ismail, Yuri van Geest

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23andMe, 3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, corporate social responsibility, cross-subsidies, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, Dean Kamen, dematerialisation, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Galaxy Zoo, game design, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hiring and firing, Hyperloop, industrial robot, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Internet of things, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, life extension, lifelogging, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, means of production, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, offshore financial centre, p-value, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, prediction markets, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, subscription business, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tony Hsieh, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, X Prize, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

The contest ended early, in September 2009, when one of the 44,014 valid submissions achieved the goal and was awarded the prize. Deep Learning is a new and exciting subset of Machine Learning based on neural net technology. It allows a machine to discover new patterns without being exposed to any historical or training data. Leading startups in this space are DeepMind, bought by Google in early 2014 for $500 million, back when DeepMind had just thirteen employees, and Vicarious, funded with investment from Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg. Twitter, Baidu, Microsoft and Facebook are also heavily invested in this area. Deep Learning algorithms rely on discovery and self-indexing, and operate in much the same way that a baby learns first sounds, then words, then sentences and even languages. As an example: In June 2012, a team at Google X built a neural network of 16,000 computer processors with one billion connections.

Step 1: Select an MTP (Massive Transformative Purpose). This is the most elemental and foundational aspect of a startup. Feeding on Simon Sinek’s “Why?” question, it is critical that you are excited and utterly passionate about the problem space you plan to attack. So, begin by asking the question: What is the biggest problem I’d like to see solved? Identify that problem space and then come up with an MTP for it. Even as a child, Elon Musk, perhaps the world’s most celebrated entrepreneur today, had a burning desire to address energy, transportation and space travel at a global level. His three companies (SolarCity, Tesla and SpaceX) are each addressing those spaces. Each has a Massive Transformative Purpose. Keep in mind, however, that an MTP is not a business decision. Finding your passion is a personal journey. As Travis Kalanick, CEO of Uber, said at the 2013 LeWeb conference in Paris, “You have to be self-aware and look for that startup idea and purpose that is a perfect fit with you—with you as a person, not as a business[person].”

Delivery skills: The ability to execute ideas—to analyze, plan, implement, follow through and be detail-oriented. These are just two of many ways of looking at how to put a founding team together. Whatever the approach, however, founders must be intrinsically motivated self-starters. Most of all, in the face of rapid growth and change, they must have complete trust in one another’s judgment. Think about the PayPal story. Peter Thiel told his co-founders (Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, Luke Nosek, Max Levchin and Chad Hurley) and employees that they all should work together as friends rather than more formally as employees. Looking back, perhaps friendship was PayPal’s MTP. Not only was PayPal very successful as a company—it was sold to eBay for $1.2 billion—but the friendships that grew out of it were equally successful. The original team is now known as the “PayPal Mafia,” and its members have helped one another on subsequent startups, including Tesla, YouTube, SpaceX, LinkedIn, Yelp, Yammer and Palantir—companies that today have a total market cap of more than $60 billion.


pages: 361 words: 81,068

The Internet Is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Airbnb, AltaVista, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bob Geldof, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, computer age, connected car, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, disintermediation, Donald Davies, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, frictionless, full employment, future of work, gig economy, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Hacker Ethic, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, index card, informal economy, information trail, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, libertarian paternalism, lifelogging, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Metcalfe’s law, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nonsequential writing, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer rental, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Potemkin village, precariat, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber for X, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, working poor, Y Combinator

The algorithm knows what we want before we enter the store and then a robot fulfills our order, which, if Jeff Bezos has his way, will be delivered by our own personalized drone. Like Google and Amazon, Facebook is also aggressively entering the artificial intelligence business. In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus VR, a virtual reality company, and British-based pilotless drone company Ascenta.36 Mark Zuckerberg has also co-invested with Tesla Motors’s CEO Elon Musk and the Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher in an artificial intelligence company called Vicarious, which mimics human learning. According to its founder, Scott Phoenix, Vicarious’s goal is to replicate the neocortex, thus creating a “computer that thinks like a person . . . except that it doesn’t have to sleep.”37 Phoenix told the Wall Street Journal that Vicarious will eventually “learn how to cure diseases, create cheap renewable energy, and perform the jobs that employ most human beings.”38 What Phoenix didn’t clarify, however, is what exactly human beings will do with themselves all day when every job is performed by Vicarious.

The Internet economy “produces very valuable companies with very few employees,” Brooks says of this crisis, while “the majority of workers are not seeing income gains commensurate with their productivity levels.”69 In his 2013 National Book Award–winning The Unwinding, George Packer mourns the passing of the twentieth-century Great Society. What he calls “New America” has been corrupted, he suggests, by its deepening inequality of wealth and opportunity. And it’s not surprising that Packer places Silicon Valley and the multibillionaire Internet entrepreneur and libertarian Peter Thiel at the center of his narrative. The cofounder, with Elon Musk, of the online payments service PayPal, Thiel became a billionaire as the first outside investor in Facebook, after being introduced to Mark Zuckerberg by Sean Parker, the cofounder of Napster and Facebook’s founding president. The San Francisco–based Thiel lives in a “ten thousand square foot white wedding cake of a mansion,” 70 a smaller but no less meretricious building than the Battery. His decadent house and dinner parties are the stuff of San Francisco high-society legend, featuring printed menus, unscheduled Gatsby-like appearances from the great Thiel himself, and waiters wearing nothing except their aprons.

Never mind Larry Page’s hubristic claim about achieving “the 1% of what is possible”; the really relevant one percent are that minority of wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneurs like Page who are massively profiting from what New York magazine’s Kevin Roose calls a “regional declaration of independence.”71 It’s an experimental fantasy of outsourced labor, hostility to labor unions, a cult of efficiency and automated technology, a mad display of corporate arrogance, and an even crazier celebration of an ever-widening economic and cultural inequality in San Francisco. The fantasy of secession from the real world, the reinvention of the “New Frontier” myth, has become one of those fashionable memes, like the cult of failure, now sweeping through Silicon Valley. While PayPal cofounder and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is planning to establish an 80,000-person high-tech colony on Mars,72 others are focused on building their fantasy high-tech colonies within Northern California itself. The third-generation Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper is launching a 2014 “Six Californias” ballot measure to redraw California into six separate US states, including one called “Silicon Valley.”73 And the venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, who boasted at FailCon about his own failure, has already seceded.


pages: 294 words: 87,986

4th Rock From the Sun: The Story of Mars by Nicky Jenner

3D printing, Alfred Russel Wallace, Astronomia nova, cuban missile crisis, Elon Musk, game design, hive mind, invention of the telescope, Kickstarter, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, placebo effect, Pluto: dwarf planet, retrograde motion, selection bias, silicon-based life, Skype, Stephen Hawking, technoutopianism

Many prominent scientists and engineers believe that, all things considered, Mars is simply the best place to go to next. These include Stephen Hawking (‘Mars is the obvious next target’), Bill Nye, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Carl Sagan (‘The next place to wander to is Mars’), NASA adminis­trator Charles Bolden (‘Mars is a stepping stone to other solar systems’), and more. Former NASA Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin even created his own line of ‘Get Your Ass to Mars’ T-shirts, based on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous line in the 1990 Mars-related film Total Recall. The aforementioned Elon Musk (former PayPal magnate, now of SpaceX and Tesla fame) has been outspoken about how humans need to explore and colonise other worlds, working towards the goal of becoming ‘a multi-planet species’. This is another oft-cited reason for going to Mars: the survival of humankind.

Those in the know may think of the physicist’s (1856–1943) association with famous inventor Thomas Edison, Tesla’s various inventions and discoveries – the most famous of which involve electricity and magnetism via his work on alternating current and the Tesla induction coil – or Wardenclyffe Tower (the Tesla Tower), a wireless radio station Tesla attempted to build and use for intercontinental, and maybe even interplanetary, communication in the early 1900s before he ran out of money. Some may think of Tesla Motors, the electric car company now headed by the coincidentally Mars-obsessed Elon Musk. Tesla Motors’s founders supposedly spent ages thinking up the ideal name for their forward-thinking business concept, before settling on Tesla as an appropriate namesake. Interestingly, many may think again of David Bowie, who played Tesla in the 2006 film The Prestige. The film’s director, Christopher Nolan, described Tesla as ‘extraordinarily charismatic’, an ‘other-wordly, ahead-of-his-time figure’, and instantly knew he wanted Bowie to play him due to the latter’s ‘slightly different sort of star quality’.

Historically it has been one thing: consent,’ wrote Laurie Zoloth, professor of medical ethics and humanities at Northwestern University in Chicago, US, in Cosmos magazine in 2015. Zoloth pointed out that ‘the ethical considerations change if we think of the crew as military personnel’ or as ‘pioneers’. ‘We expect soldiers to face considerable risk,’ she wrote. What makes astronauts any different? This opinion has been echoed by SpaceX magnate Elon Musk, who is aiming to send humans to Mars in the coming decade. He has said that ‘people will probably die – and they’ll know that’. As long as appropriate measures are taken to protect astronauts, and their contribution and sacrifice is recognised, informed consent may lower or negate many of the ethical concerns involved in going to Mars. Ethics aside, the question of whether it is worth sending humans is easily answered.


pages: 103 words: 24,033

The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent by Vivek Wadhwa

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, card file, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, immigration reform, labour mobility, Marc Andreessen, open economy, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, the new new thing, Y2K

This has been true since the founding of the United States as a nation composed of people seeking better economic chances and religious freedom in the New World, a process that started with the arrival of the Mayflower. Each decade has yielded top-flight entrepreneurs not born in this land, from Andrew Carnegie (Carnegie Steel Company) to Alexander Graham Bell (AT&T) to Charles Pfizer (Pfizer) to Vinod Khosla (Sun Microsystems) to Sergey Brin (Google) to Elon Musk (PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla Motors). A 2011 study by the Partnership for a New American Economy tabulated that first-generation immigrants or their children had founder roles in more than 40% of the Fortune 500. These companies had combined revenues of greater than $4.2 trillion and employed more than 10 million workers worldwide.4 More and more evidence indicates that immigrant founders drive a wildly disproportionate percentage of all net new job creation in America.

No part of this book may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, without written permission of the publisher. Company and product names mentioned herein are the trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Ebook ISBN: 978-1-61363-020-4 Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61363-021-1 About the Book Many of the United States’ most innovative entrepreneurs have been immigrants, from Andrew Carnegie, Alexander Graham Bell, and Charles Pfizer to Sergey Brin, Vinod Khosla, and Elon Musk. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies and one-quarter of all new small businesses were founded by immigrants, generating trillions of dollars annually, employing millions of workers, and helping establish the United States as the most entrepreneurial, technologically advanced society on earth. Now, Vivek Wadhwa, an immigrant tech entrepreneur turned academic with appointments at Duke, Stanford, Emory, and Singularity Universities, draws on new research to show that the United States is in the midst of an unprecedented halt in high-growth, immigrant-founded start-ups.


pages: 428 words: 121,717

Warnings by Richard A. Clarke

active measures, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Bernie Madoff, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Elon Musk, failed state, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forensic accounting, friendly AI, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge worker, Maui Hawaii, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, mouse model, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y2K

DARPA deputy director Steven Walker quoted in Sydney J. Freedberg Jr., “Robots, Techies, and Troops: Carter and Roper on 3rd Offset,” Breaking Defense, June 13, 2016, http://breakingdefense.com/2016/06/trust-robots-tech-industry-troops-carter-roper (accessed Oct. 8, 2016). 21. Michael Sainato, “Steven Hawking, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates Warn About Artificial Intelligence,” The Observer (UK), Aug. 19, 2015, http://observer.com/2015/08/stephen-hawking-elon-musk-and-bill-gates-warn-about-artificial-intelligence (accessed Oct. 8, 2016); and Elon Musk interview with MIT students at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department Centennial Symposium, Oct. 2014, http://aeroastro.mit.edu/aeroastro100/centennial-symposium (accessed Oct. 8, 2016). 22. Bloomberg via Shobhit Seth, “The World of High Frequency Algorithmic Trading,” Investopedia, Sept. 16, 2015, www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/091615/world-high-frequency-algorithmic-trading.asp (accessed Oct. 8, 2016). 23.

is probably ‘Yes, but only briefly.’”5 As the excitement grows, so too does fear. The astrophysicist and Nobel laureate Dr. Stephen Hawking warns that AI is “likely to be either the best or worst thing ever to happen to humanity, so there’s huge value in getting it right.” Hawking is not alone in his concern about superintelligence. Icons of the tech revolution, including former Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, echo his concern. And it terrifies Eliezer Yudkowsky. Eliezer has dedicated his life to preventing artificial intelligence from destroying humankind. Tall with a thick, dark beard that, along with wire-rim glasses, forms a frame around his large, oval face, he is a thirty-seven-year-old autodidact who dropped out of school after eighth grade. Married without children, Eliezer grew up in Chicago and now lives and works in Berkeley, California, at an organization he founded, the Machine Intelligence Research Institute (MIRI).

He fears that such superintelligent software would exploit the Internet, seizing control of anything connected to it, like electrical infrastructure, telecommunications systems, manufacturing plants . . . Its first order of business may be to covertly replicate itself on many other servers all over the globe as a measure of redundancy. In could build machines and robots, or even secretly influence the decisions of ordinary people in pursuit of its own goals. Humanity and its welfare may be of little interest to an entity so profoundly smarter. Elon Musk calls creating artificial intelligence “summoning the demon” and thinks it’s humanity’s “biggest existential threat.”8 When we asked Eliezer what was at stake, his answer was simple: everything. Superintelligence gone wrong is a species-level threat, a human extinction event. Humans are neither the fastest nor the strongest creatures on the planet but dominate for one reason: humans are the smartest.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

“It won’t be too long before bright young men and women set their eyes on careers in Earth orbit and say: ‘I want to work 200 kilometers from home—straight up!’” Arthur C. Clarke, sci-fi author, inventor and futurist The Russian Space Agency is no longer allowing paying passengers, but billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is currently offering a similar experience, albeit suborbital, for a much more down-to-earth price of $200,000. Other entrepreneurial companies active in this field include Space Adventures and Elon Musk’s SpaceX (Elon Musk is the forty-year-old entrepreneur behind PayPal and Tesla Motors). Rocket man Space is the next frontier for entrepreneurs, especially high-tech billionaires. Paul Allen, cofounder of Microsoft, has announced a plan to build a commercial spaceship that could be space bound before 2020. The craft is powered by six jumbo-jet engines and has a wingspan of 115m (380ft), the largest ever for a plane.

Probably not in our lifetimes in any meaningful sense, so in the meantime we’ll have to console ourselves with good old-fashioned staycations, ecotourism, glamping, climate change travel, virtual vacations, spa and sleep holidays, dark tourism, voluntourism, medical tourism and floating hotels. Unless, of course, we can invent low-cost warp drive or teleportation. “The ultimate objective is to make humanity a multiplanet species. Thirty years from now, there’ll be a base on the Moon and on Mars, and people will be going back and forth on SpaceX rockets.” Elon Musk, engineer and entrepreneur Of course, there is another possibility. A good trick in terms of looking toward the far future is to start off by looking at the distant past. Why? Because it’s essential to separate cycles and fashion from what’s genuinely new and important, and because what appears to be new, or revolutionary, often turns out to be nothing of the sort—and time and money can easily be wasted.


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

, The Independent, 2 May 2014. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/stephen-hawking-transcendence-looks-at-the-implications-of-artificial-intelligence-but-are-we-taking-9313474.html 61 Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever & the OpenAI team, “Introducing OpenAI”, 11 December 2015 https://openai.com/blog/introducing-openai/ 62 Steven Levy, “How Elon Musk and Y Combinator Plan to Stop Computers From Taking Over”, 11 December 2015 https://medium.com/backchannel/how-elon-musk-and-y-combinator-plan-to-stop-computers-from-taking-over-17e0e27dd02a#.qjj55npcj 63 Sara Konrath, Edward O’Brien, and Courtney Hsing. “Changes in dispositional empathy in American college students over time: A meta-analysis.” Personality and Social Psychology Review (2010). 64 Quoted in: Simon Kuper, “Log out, switch off, join in”, FT Magazine, 2 October 2015. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/fc76fce2-67b3-11e5-97d0-1456a776a4f5.html 65 Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age, Penguin, 2015. 66 Nicholas Carr, The Shallows: How the Internet is changing the way we think, read and remember, Atlantic Books, 2010. 67 Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, Simon and Schuster, 2014. 68 Quoted in: Elizabeth Segran, “The Ethical Quandaries You Should Think About the Next Time You Look at Your Phone”, Fast Company, 5 October 2015.

As theoretical physicist and author Stephen Hawking and fellow scientists Stuart Russell, Max Tegmark and Frank Wilczek wrote in the newspaper The Independent when considering the implications of artificial intelligence: “Whereas the short-term impact of AI depends on who controls it, the long-term impact depends on whether it can be controlled at all…All of us should ask ourselves what we can do now to improve the chances of reaping the benefits and avoiding the risks”.60 One interesting development in this area is OpenAI, a non-profit AI research company announced in December 2015 with the goal to “advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return”.61 The initiative – chaired by Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, and Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors - has secured $1 billion in committed funding. This initiative underscores a key point made earlier – namely, that one of the biggest impacts of the fourth industrial revolution is the empowering potential catalyzed by a fusion of new technologies. Here, as Sam Altman stated, “the best way AI can develop is if it’s about individual empowerment and making humans better, and made freely available to everyone.”62 The human impact of some particular technologies such as the internet or smart phones is relatively well understood and widely debated among experts and academics.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Zipcar

Hagel and Brown tell companies that they need to move “from monetizing stocks to monetizing flows”—that is, making money on the transactions, the service, the new value creation.19 So Elon Musk opens to the world the static intellectual property bound up in Tesla’s patents, because that is not where the value lies. The value lies in building on that base of knowledge, in engaging the hearts and minds of as many people as possible so that Tesla’s best guesses about electric cars and batteries become the foundational standard on which a new industry is built. Imagine Your Entire Ecosystem to Be Potential Co-creators When Elon Musk made Tesla’s patents open, he didn’t know from which corner breakthroughs would come—and he still doesn’t know. It may be from competing fledgling electric car companies or from existing car manufacturers in the United States, Europe, or Asia; from focused engineering PhDs or from a self-taught hobbyist making herself known from some unlikely geography.

Peers will deliver on the variation—the source of innovation in printer customization, improvement on materials, new uses, tweaks on standard patterns, and likely new business models. Perhaps most exciting, from an innovation standpoint, is the ability for peers to “send” to one another the precise specifications for physical 3-D objects, enabling very rapid iterative prototyping across great distances. The natural progression toward increased openness, beyond the licensing of a previously closely held brand asset, is to get rid of that legal protection altogether. Elon Musk—founder of SpaceX, co-founder of PayPal, and currently CEO of Tesla Motors—made just such an announcement in a blog entry on June 12, 2014. “In the spirit of the open source movement, for the advancement of electric vehicle technology,” he wrote, Tesla was opening up all its patents. Musk understood that like in FOSS, where it is well appreciated that more minds are better than fewer minds, more rapid innovation demands more access.

“Five Cities Selected as Winners in Bloomberg Philanthropies 2014 Mayors Challenge,” Bloomberg.org, September 17, 2014, www.bloomberg.org/press/releases/five-cities-selected-winners-bloomberg-philanthropies-2014-mayors-challenge. 17. Christophe Vidal, “My Little Pony—Spitfire,” on Shapeways website, www.shapeways.com/model/2207519/my-little-pony-spitfire-asymp-70mm-tall.html?materialId=26. 18. Elon Musk, “All Our Patents Are Belong to You,” TeslaMotors.comblog, June 12, 2014, www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you. 19. Personal correspondence with John Hagel and John Seely Brown. 20. “Financial Performance,” J-Sainsbury.co.uk, www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/investor-centre/financial-performance. 21. “Crowdsourced Green Mondays: Sainsbury’s,” report reviewing Sainsbury’s 20x20 Sustainability Plan, www.thecrowd.me/sites/default/files/Wisdom_of_the_Crowd.pdf. 22.


pages: 222 words: 70,132

Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy by Jonathan Taplin

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, basic income, battle of ideas, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, David Brooks, David Graeber, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of journalism, future of work, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Google bus, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, labor-force participation, life extension, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, packet switching, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, revision control, Robert Bork, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unpaid internship, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, Y Combinator

The Harvard Business School guru Clayton Christensen (The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail) argues, “Financial markets—and companies themselves—use assessment metrics that make innovations that eliminate jobs more attractive than those that create jobs.” Whereas the return on “efficiency innovations” is relatively quick, the more important “market-creating innovations,” which create entirely new industries that produce jobs, have a long time in which to return the investment. Even Silicon Valley heroes such as Elon Musk and his Tesla car are merely producing what Christensen calls “performance-improving innovations [that] replace old products with new and better models. They generally create few jobs because they’re substitutive: When customers buy the new product, they usually don’t buy the old product.” While economists of such different political affiliations as Paul Krugman, Larry Summers, and Tyler Cowen all have written extensively about the cause of the joblessness and “secular stagnation” in the US economy that has endured since 2000, they never examine the role that monopoly capitalism might play in this crisis.

And it is one of a series of quiet investments by Schmidt that recognize how modern political campaigns are run, with data analytics and digital outreach as vital ingredients that allow candidates to find, court, and turn out critical voter blocs. Google makes sure to place bets on both sides of the aisle. So while Eric Schmidt is advising Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Larry Page flew with Sean Parker and Elon Musk in March of 2016 to a secret Republican meeting at a resort in Sea Island, Georgia, organized by the right-wing think tank the American Enterprise Institute. There they met with Republican leadership, including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan as well as Karl Rove, to plan Republican 2016 election strategy. My own experience in talking to legislators about Internet reform has led me to understand that Google, Amazon, and Facebook are deeply embedded in both parties, and their interests will be protected no matter who is in the White House.

The conference, called the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit, left me wondering whether there isn’t a kind of bubble in the Valley that has nothing to do with the inflated valuations of the “unicorns” (private companies worth more than $1 billion), which were so much a focus of conversation onstage and envy offstage—especially from established Hollywood moguls, who are drawn to Graydon Carter like moths to a flame. The real bubble is a thought bubble, in which the magical thinking of the guys who clearly believe they are the smartest cats in the room goes completely unchallenged. Case in point: Elon Musk, who said that he will spend hundreds of millions of dollars on his quest to inhabit Mars, going so far as to suggest that we cause a nuclear explosion on the planet in order to melt all that frozen water, warm the atmosphere, and enable us to grow vegetables for future space colonies. Musk proposed this with a straight face, and neither the interviewer nor the other panelists even blinked. Musk went on to impugn Larry Page’s expenditure of tens of millions of dollars so he could live to the age of two hundred, remarking that he, Musk, would be happy to live to one hundred.


pages: 504 words: 126,835

The Innovation Illusion: How So Little Is Created by So Many Working So Hard by Fredrik Erixon, Bjorn Weigel

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, BRICs, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, Colonization of Mars, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crony capitalism, dark matter, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discounted cash flows, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, fear of failure, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Gilder, global supply chain, global value chain, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Martin Wolf, mass affluent, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, pensions crisis, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, Productivity paradox, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transportation-network company, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, University of East Anglia, unpaid internship, Vanguard fund, Yogi Berra

Likewise, there are many successful investors and entrepreneurs whose thinking about innovation and business creation have inspired us. Innovation happens through entrepreneurship and it is impossible to grasp innovation without understanding the business motivations behind it. In reality, books like ours cannot substitute for studies of successful entrepreneurs like Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Sam Walton, and the business environment they and others created in their respective firms. More people than we can mention have generously taken the time to talk through particular issues with us or showed us the power of new technology and innovative business ideas. We are particularly grateful to a group of friends who have read, commented, and in other ways helped us with various versions of the manuscript.

Networked information flows between autonomous parts of production are basic elements in standard, run-of-the-mill business information technology (IT) services. Most sizable modern companies have automated information flows in their production and logistics, and these flows will prompt action even if there is no human being to command it. But Beer’s Cybersyn was not a product of Silicon Valley, the MIT Media Lab, or other places where big-data business models grow and artificial intelligence develops. He was not hired by Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, nor was he in the employment of NASA or the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute. He never had a Facebook account, and never tweeted his cybernetic vision. The long-bearded, Rolls-Royce-driving Beer is fascinating because he is a product of history. He died in 2002 and his grand cybernetic model was created over 40 years ago. Cybersyn was not a project to improve corporates or capitalism.

It also boosted the number of M&As, because companies needed to become bigger than before to capture the specialization gains from a growing world economy. There was little demand for innovators and entrepreneurs fanning that “perennial gale of creative destruction,” and that demand naturally declined as companies turned into logistics hubs. Executive recruiters were not scouting for entrepreneurial people like Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg to take up key positions in multinationals. They wanted executives with specialisms in optimization, management, logistics, capital markets, and other key operative functions of a firm. They wanted trusted partners from the “technostructure” of managerial capitalism, to quote John Kenneth Galbraith.6 And these partners were planners, not entrepreneurs. In this way, globalization helped to move Western economies away from Schumpeter’s vision of capitalism.


pages: 431 words: 129,071

Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It's Doing to Us by Will Storr

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, bitcoin, book scanning, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, gig economy, greed is good, invisible hand, job automation, John Markoff, Lyft, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Mother of all demos, Nixon shock, Peter Thiel, QWERTY keyboard, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog

He was oozing kalokagathia and looked as Greekly perfect as that sexy Jesus I’d seen, all those months ago, hanging above my bed at Pluscarden. ‘And what are you going to mine?’ ‘We’re not trying to bring material back to Earth. We’re after hydrocarbons, water, nickel, iron. All the materials you’d need to build cities in space.’ ‘And you actually think we’ll live to see people living in space?’ ‘I think I’ll live another thirty years, yeah,’ he said. ‘Elon Musk wants to put people on Mars by 2026. Anyone else at any other time in history would’ve been mad to say that. But this is Elon Musk.’ I wondered about the influence of Ayn Rand among his fellow founders. Steve Jobs, for one, is said to have treated Atlas Shrugged as his ‘guide in life,’ whilst Travis Kalanick of Uber used the cover of The Fountainhead as his Twitter avatar. ‘Engineers and richer folk are often libertarian,’ he said. ‘It’s never been tried, this pure libertarianism that Ayn Rand was promoting.

Customers would send in a swab that would be genetically sequenced. Once the specific microbial species that made up their particular bacterial community was analysed, a personalized treatment would be delivered. Austen was immediately interested. He agreed to help not only with the technology but with business advice. He took a 10 per cent stake in her company. Word of his work spread further. He met Sergey Brin from Google, Elon Musk from Tesla and SpaceX and Jared Leto from the movies. He was invited to Richard Branson’s private island, where apparently he silenced the billionaire’s dinner table with his visions of an intentionally designed, synthetic future. He was interviewed by Fortune and NPR and Wired. CNN named his technology as one of its ‘Top Ten Ideas That Could Save Lives’. He became a frequent guest at tech conferences, one of which was Demo: New Tech Solving Big Problems.

And neither do the people around us who seem so intimidating in all their radiant perfection. Ultimately, we can all take comfort in the understanding that they’re not actually perfect, and that none of us ever will be. We’re not, as we’ve been promised, ‘as gods’. On the contrary, we’re animals but we think we’re not animals. We’re products of the mud. * Before I left Silicon Valley, I accompanied some residents of the Rainbow Mansion to a rocket launch. Elon Musk’s company SpaceX had been contracted to take a NASA satellite into orbit. As we drove south out of Cupertino, I watched as the blue dot on my smartphone’s map passed Big Sur and Esalen, not far to the west. With the highway running into the great Californian sky in front of us, I thought about the other journey I’d been on, which was now, finally, drawing to a close. It had followed the passage of one idea – that of power being centred on the individual, in denial of other forces – as it had enchanted an entire people for 2,500 years.


pages: 347 words: 97,721

Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas H. Davenport, Julia Kirby

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AI winter, Andy Kessler, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, business intelligence, business process, call centre, carbon-based life, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, commoditize, conceptual framework, dark matter, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, fixed income, follow your passion, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, game design, general-purpose programming language, Google Glasses, Hans Lippershey, haute cuisine, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, information retrieval, intermodal, Internet of things, inventory management, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, lifelogging, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, performance metric, Peter Thiel, precariat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, speech recognition, spinning jenny, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Works Progress Administration, Zipcar

Let’s start by observing that many smart people are thinking about the robot-filled society of the future, and that they are widely distributed on the basic question of whether we are all going to hell in a handbasket. Our news culture being what it is, we tend to hear the opinions of celebrity thinkers and innovators the most, and particularly when they are willing to thrill us with a good scare. Thus the statement by Elon Musk that AI represents “our biggest existential threat” was probably the most repeated quote of 2014. Right on its heels was Stephen Hawking’s warning that “the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race,” and Bill Gates’s musing that “I don’t understand why some people are not concerned.” Many thinkers, however, are less famous and less frightened (and therefore give up any headline-grabbing impact or opinion).

Soon enough, the idea will occur to some ambitious knowledge worker that she could delegate portions of her job to a personal robot and be twice as productive as her colleagues. It’s arguably a logical extension of the “bring your own device” movement. Should her employer forbid that (or encourage it)? Is it something the Department of Labor or its Occupational Safety and Health Administration needs to rule on? Sitting a layer above our need to answer such questions is our need to figure out how they should be answered, and by whom. Speaking at a 2014 MIT event, Elon Musk said, “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.” But issues of governance will arise in every setting where smart machines take over tasks from humans, and we doubt they can all be answered by governments. And in the meantime, of course, Musk’s company continues to program autonomous driving capabilities into Teslas.

Yet it is also true that seventy years after the use of the atomic bomb, there is no global agency or organization with the power to regulate the use of nuclear weapons. (Even the International Atomic Energy Agency holds sway only over those countries that have signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.) Is it possible that, seventy years from now—deep into that time frame when AI experts expect machine superintelligence to exist—no global mechanisms will exist to contain a technology that Elon Musk calls “potentially more dangerous than nukes”? We’re encouraging the many convenings that are happening already to surface the decisions that must be made about artificial intelligence and its impacts—and the more international they are, the better. When a major business-oriented conference like the Global Drucker Forum focuses on a theme like “Claiming our Humanity in the Digital Age,” that can only be for the good.


pages: 345 words: 92,849

Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins, Yaron Brook

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, financial deregulation, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Uber for X, urban renewal, War on Poverty, wealth creators, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Immigration, meanwhile, not only allows foreigners to share in the American Dream, which is something we should value for its own sake, but may also fuel economic growth.16 Low-skilled workers tend to bid down wages for low-skilled work, which sounds bad until you remember that this lowers the cost of the products we all buy. And high-skilled workers bring us all the benefits of their ability, which includes starting new businesses (see the careers of Andrew Carnegie, PayPal’s Elon Musk, Intel’s Andy Grove, and Google’s Sergey Brin, among many others). But we should not paint a one-sided picture. Although the inequality critics highlight the restrictions on economic liberty of the post-war era (more on that shortly), in many ways it was an era of growing economic freedom. This is difficult to quantify, but the best attempt to date comes from economist Leandro Prados de la Escosura, who has constructed a Historical Index of Economic Liberty (HIEL) similar to indexes produced by the Heritage Foundation and the Fraser Institute that try to measure economic freedom today.

The greatest contributors to production are not those who supply physical labor but those who contribute ideas—new theories, inventions, tools, businesses, and methods—to the productive process. We can see this most clearly when we look at the role of the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur seeks out new profit opportunities, often introducing new products, new services, or new ways of doing business. Entrepreneurs like Bill Gates (Microsoft), Elon Musk (PayPal), and Richard Branson (Virgin) are the risk takers and trailblazers who start new businesses and even new industries. The word “entrepreneur” comes from the French word entreprendre, which means to “undertake” and is thought to have been coined by the French economist Jean-Baptiste Say. According to Say, the entrepreneur is the “master-agent.” He sets a business enterprise in motion, often risking his own wealth along with that of other investors.

If you are motivated in Silicon Valley, [then] you can make it, period.”35 What matters in the Valley is not where you were born or where (or even whether) you went to college. What matters is your ability. Talent is the currency of Silicon Valley, and individuals there use their talent to move us forward, pioneering revolutionary achievements in social media, big data, personalized health care, biotechnology, smartphones, mobile commerce, cloud technology, and 3D printing, to name just a few. Silicon Valley is the place creators like Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Peter Thiel go to make a fortune by inventing the future. What made it all possible? No doubt there are many forces at work, but one enormous factor is the extent to which the government has kept its hands off the Valley. Perry Piscione points out the benefits of “the lack of heavy government regulation that would typically favor the interests of established banks, companies, and labor unions” over young upstarts.36 People are free to act on their ideas and compete on ability, without having to wade through a minefield of government permissions before launching their ventures.


pages: 315 words: 99,065

The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership by Richard Branson

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barriers to entry, call centre, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, clean water, collective bargaining, Costa Concordia, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, friendly fire, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, index card, inflight wifi, Lao Tzu, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Northern Rock, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, trade route, zero-sum game

And as if all that were not enough, the influential ‘Consumer Reports’ magazine ranked the Tesla as ‘the best we have ever tested’ with a ninety-nine per cent overall rating. Rate this one an A on all counts. Of course Tesla is not Elon Musk’s first big success at breaking new ground in emerging industries. His vision of creating a new form of payment to accommodate the unique requirements of online retail sales started life as X.com and soon morphed into PayPal. His other current major dream coming true is SpaceX, which, along similar lines to Virgin Galactic, is developing a private sector satellite launch vehicle to take over where NASA left off. There is even talk of Musk merging his PayPal and space ventures with PayPal Galactic to tackle the challenges of ‘off-Earth’ payments – I will have to give some more thought to that one! In any case Elon Musk’s successes at Tesla, PayPal and Space-X only serve to demonstrate the incredible results that can flow from vision and leadership coming together in one inspired individual with the assistance of an army of equally inspired followers.

Our initial $10 million investment to start what would become Virgin Blue – now rebranded Virgin Australia – turned out to be one of the smartest we have ever made. Putting it differently, I suppose, with tongue firmly in cheek I could say it was a classic case of, ‘Screw It, Let’s Blue It.’ Sorry! ENVISAGING VISIONARIES Brett is just one of many true visionaries I have been lucky to know with the passion, drive, focus and skills to turn their often seemingly impossible dreams into game-changing realities. Like a lot of people before him, Elon Musk had a vision to build a commercially viable electric car. This is a space in which all the early movers have focused their attention on the mass market by developing affordable, compact fuel-saving vehicles almost completely devoid of anything in the way of sex appeal. Musk decided instead to come at it from the premium sports car end of the market and over time move into more mainstream vehicles.


pages: 831 words: 98,409

SUPERHUBS: How the Financial Elite and Their Networks Rule Our World by Sandra Navidi

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activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, assortative mating, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, butterfly effect, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, diversification, East Village, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, family office, financial repression, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google bus, Gordon Gekko, haute cuisine, high net worth, hindsight bias, income inequality, index fund, intangible asset, Jaron Lanier, John Meriwether, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, McMansion, mittelstand, money market fund, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Network effects, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, Parag Khanna, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Renaissance Technologies, rent-seeking, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Satyajit Das, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Predators' Ball, too big to fail, women in the workforce, young professional

Kirsten Grind, “’Bond King’ Bill Gross Loses Showdown at Firm,” Wall Street Journal, September 26, 2014, http://www.wsj.com/articles/bond-king-bill-gross-loses-showdown-at-firm-1411773652. 28. Barbara Kiviat, “Even Bond Guru Bill Gross Can’t Escape,” Time, September 18, 2008, http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1842501,00.xhtml. 29. Robert Frank, “Elon Musk’s Ex-Wife on Secret to Getting Rich: ‘Be Obsessed,’” CNBC, April 20, 2015, http://www.cnbc.com/2015/04/20/elon-musks-ex-wife-on-secret-to-getting-rich-be-obsessed.xhtml. 30. Ray Dalio, Principles. 31. Michelle Celarier & Lawrence Delevingne, “Ray Dalio’s Culture of Radical Truth,” Institutional Investor, March 2, 2011, http://www.institutionalinvestor.com/Article/2775995/Ray-Dalios-radical-truth.xhtml. 32. Kevin Roose, “Pursuing Self-Interest in Harmony with the Laws of the Universe and Contributing to Evolution Is Universally Rewarded,” New York, April 10, 2011, http://nymag.com/news/business/wallstreet/ray-dalio-2011-4. 33.

But having a branded star manager who is synonymous with the fund also highlights the perils of key-man risk. So what is the moral of the story? Even the most talented fund manager must employ a minimum of interpersonal skills and build a network of loyal supporters to call in favors, accumulated in the form of social capital, when the time comes. ON A MONOMANIACAL MISSION: RAY DALIO Another common superhub trait is an ability to focus excessively on one idea. Perhaps Elon Musk’s ex-wife, Justine, put it best when she said that “extreme success results from an extreme personality.” But their chief characteristic, according to Justine, can be summed up in two words: Be obsessed. “People who are obsessed with a problem or issue can work through all the distractions and barriers that life puts in their way. And that obsession needs to be your own, to the point where it borders on insanity.”29 One superhub with an extreme focus is eccentric money manager Ray Dalio.


pages: 410 words: 101,260

Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant

Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce

., Extremist for Love: Martin Luther King Jr., Man of Ideas and Nonviolent Social Action (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2014). as was Nelson Mandela: “Nelson Mandela, the ‘Gandhi of South Africa,’ Had Strong Indian Ties,” Economic Times, December 6, 2013, articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-12-06/news/44864354_1_nelson-mandela-gandhi-memorial-gandhian-philosophy. Elon Musk . . . Lord of the Rings: Tad Friend, “Plugged In: Can Elon Musk Lead the Way to an Electric-Car Future?” New Yorker, August 24, 2009, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2009/08/24/plugged-in. Peter Thiel . . . Lord of the Rings: Julian Guthrie, “Entrepreneur Peter Thiel Talks ‘Zero to One,’” SFGate, September 21, 2014, www.sfgate.com/living/article/Entrepreneur-Peter-Thiel-talks-Zero-to-One-5771228.php. Sheryl Sandberg . . .

Human rights advocate Malala Yousafzai was moved by reading biographies of Meena, an activist for equality in Afghanistan, and of Martin Luther King, Jr. King was inspired by Gandhi, as was Nelson Mandela. In some cases, fictional characters may be even better role models. Growing up, many originals find their first heroes in their most beloved novels, where protagonists exercise their creativity in pursuit of unique accomplishments. When asked to name their favorite books, Elon Musk and Peter Thiel each chose Lord of the Rings,, the epic tale of a hobbit’s adventures to destroy a dangerous ring of power. Sheryl Sandberg and Jeff Bezos both pointed to A Wrinkle in Time,, in which a young girl learns to bend the laws of physics and travel through time. Mark Zuckerberg was partial to Ender’s Game, where it’s up to a group of kids to save the planet from an alien attack. Jack Ma named his favorite childhood book as Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, about a woodcutter who takes the initiative to change his own fate.


pages: 252 words: 70,424

The Self-Made Billionaire Effect: How Extreme Producers Create Massive Value by John Sviokla, Mitch Cohen

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Cass Sunstein, Colonization of Mars, corporate raider, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Elon Musk, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, global supply chain, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, Jony Ive, loss aversion, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, old-boy network, paper trading, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart meter, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, young professional

In fact, 80 percent of the self-made billionaires we studied made their fortunes in contested market spaces that would by any measure be considered “red.” Billionaires don’t seem to view the world that way, however. To them, all oceans are purple, a blending of available opportunity extant within established practice. John Paul DeJoria launched John Paul Mitchell Systems into the populated market of high-end hair care; there were other ways to pay sellers online before Elon Musk bought PayPal; Bharti Enterprises founder Sunil Mittal got his start importing known, legacy technologies into India; Sara Blakely’s Spanx were inserted into a hosiery market dominated by L’eggs and Hanes; Carnival Cruise billionaire Micky Arison made his billions by reinventing the cruising business away from its status as a vacation option only for the wealthy and elderly; James Dyson invented the dual cyclone to compete in a product space that was so entrenched that Mr.

Murdoch grew those businesses for fifteen years, amassing an estimated $50 million fortune, before he started acquiring London-based newspapers and tabloids, then American newspapers in the late 1960s. In 1985, he branched into film and television by purchasing 20th Century Fox and creating the Fox Broadcasting Company. Other acquisitions include HarperCollins and the Wall Street Journal. Today, Murdoch remains executive chairman of News Corporation, while continuing to make headlines for his efforts to acquire more media properties. Elon Musk b. 1971, South Africa Tesla, PayPal The South African native and serial entrepreneur founded multiple businesses before the ones that made him famous. In 1999, he cofounded X.com, an online financial services and e-mail company. A year later X-com merged with Cofinity, along with its online bank subsidiary, PayPal. Under Musk’s leadership, PayPal grew dramatically until it was sold to eBay in 2002 for $1.5 billion in stock.


pages: 257 words: 64,285

The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport: Second Edition by David Levinson, Kevin Krizek

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, Chris Urmson, collaborative consumption, commoditize, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Hangouts, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the printing press, jitney, John Markoff, labor-force participation, lifelogging, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Network effects, Occam's razor, oil shock, place-making, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, technological singularity, Tesla Model S, the built environment, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game, Zipcar

GM re-entered the plug-in EV market in 2011 with the Chevy Volt, while Nissan entered with the Leaf and Honda with the Fit.118 To provide a sense of the technology, the Honda Fit has an energy efficiency of 18 kWh per 100 km (lower is better) combined City and Highway, which the EPA scores at 118 Miles per Gallon equivalent (50 km/liter) (higher is better), with an 82 mile (132 km) range. The US government provides $2500 tax credits for plug-in EVs, and has in the past provided other subsidies for fuel efficient vehicles. Many states and other countries provide additional subsidies. New companies formed to market high-end EVs. Leading the charge, Tesla Motors, was founded by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk (also of SpaceX, Solar City, and PayPal) Their continued growth in profits and increasing sales is paving the way (no pun intended). Such fame is derived in large part from automobile production, but their real advances are as a robust battery manufacturer. Sales of EVs, shown in Figure 5.1,119 remain in the thousands, while the US market is about 13 to 14 million cars and light trucks per year.120 That has not stopped Musk from claiming most new cars will be EVs within 20 years.

Fast forward just a few years and we see that Google hired many of the leaders of the Stanford and Carnegie Mellon teams.155 156 Google Self-Driving Cars have since traveled 1.5 million miles (2.4 million km) autonomously, mostly around the San Francisco Bay Area, but also more recently in Austin, Texas and Kirkland, Washington (Figure 7.1).157 Google's cars are map-dependent, operating where the roads have been mapped out in detail, so that they can compare what they see with what they expect to see158—a strategy with obvious strengths and weaknesses.159 In Fall of 2015, the electric vehicle automaker Tesla remotely upgraded its most recent model year cars (about 50,000 vehicles) with “auto-pilot”, making them semi-autonomous (late Level 2, early Level 3).160 Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, says he expects fully autonomous vehicles within 3 years (i.e. by 2018). David took a test ride with a Tesla owner running the vehicle in Autopilot. As countless internet videos attest, Teslas are able to function in hands-off mode some of the time. They use adaptive cruise control to follow the vehicle in front at a desired speed constrained by a fixed following distance and use lane markings to stay in lane.


pages: 287 words: 82,576

The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream by Tyler Cowen

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, business climate, circulation of elites, clean water, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, East Village, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Google Glasses, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, income inequality, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, labour mobility, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, purchasing power parity, Richard Florida, security theater, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, The Great Moderation, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, working-age population, World Values Survey

All of these possibilities were embedded with futuristic architectures and also utopian ideologies, such as space travel bringing humankind together in cosmopolitan dreams of peace. Those options seemed like logical next steps for a world that had recently been transformed by railroads, automobiles, urbanization, and many other highly visible shifts in what was built, how we got around, and how things looked. But over the last few decades, the interest in those kinds of transportation-based, landscape-transforming projects largely has faded away. Elon Musk’s hyperloop plans will remain on the drawing board for the foreseeable future, and the settlement of Mars is yet farther away. Urban progress is less transformational and more a matter of making more neighborhoods look and act like the nicer neighborhoods—namely gentrification. When it comes to transportation, mostly we are hoping to avoid greater suffering, such as worse traffic, cuts in bus service, or the rather dramatic declines in service quality experienced in the Washington, DC, Metro system.

Starting in the nineteenth century, the humble bicycle, still an underrated technological innovation, boosted travel speeds for hundreds of millions. But since the 1970s, most travel around the United States has become slower—due to traffic—rather than faster. We’ve stopped increasing travel speeds and even have given up on supersonic jet transport. The Concorde, rather than proving to be the wave of the future, has been retired. Entrepreneur Elon Musk stands as the most visible and obvious representative of the idea of major progress in the physical world. For all of his admirable confidence and unapologetic ambition, most of his projects have yet to succeed. The hyperloop talk seems like more of a publicity stunt than anything else, as we will not be transporting people by whipping them in capsules through reduced-pressure tubes, not anytime soon at least.


pages: 387 words: 112,868

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper

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4chan, Airbnb, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, capital controls, Colonization of Mars, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Extropian, fiat currency, Fractional reserve banking, Jeff Bezos, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, life extension, litecoin, lone genius, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, QR code, Satoshi Nakamoto, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Startup school, stealth mode startup, the payments system, transaction costs, tulip mania, WikiLeaks

CHAPTER 18 186“PayPal will give citizens worldwide more”: Eric Jackson, PayPal Wars (Washington, DC: WND Books, 2004). 187Thiel advocating for floating structures: “Peter Thiel Offers $100,000 in Matching Donations to TSI, Makes Grant of $250,000,” Sea-steading Institute, February 10, 2010, http://www.seasteading. org/2010/02/peter-thiel-offers-100000-matching-donations-tsi-makes-grant-250000/. 187aiming for the colonization of Mars: Adam Mann, “Elon Musk Wants to Build 80,000-Person Mars Colony,” Wired, November 26, 2012, http://www.wired.com/2012/11/elon-musk-mars-colony/. CHAPTER 19 190In June 2012 the founders announced: BFL (Butterfly Labs) to BTCF, June 16, 2012. 190a young Chinese immigrant in New York, Yifu Guo, announced: ngzhang to BTCF, September 17, 2012. 191that power doubled again in just one month after Yifu’s machines: Historical data on the hashing power available at https://blockchain.info/charts/hash-rate. 195“This is a dark day for Bitcoin”: “Breaking: The Blockchain Has Forked,” Bitcoin Trader, March 11, 2013, http://www.thebitcointrader .com/2013/03/breaking-blockchain-has-forked.html. 196“clarify the applicability of the regulations implementing”: The FinCen guidance is available at http://fincen.gov/statutes_regs/guidance/html/FIN-2013-G001.html.

Investors and entrepreneurs were cooking up ever more ambitious schemes involving virtual reality, drones, and artificial intelligence, alongside more quotidian projects, like remaking public transportation and the hotel industry. The PayPal founders were among the most ambitious, with Thiel advocating for floating structures where people could live outside the jurisdiction of any national government. Elon Musk, an early PayPal employee and founder of SpaceX, was aiming for the colonization of Mars. If there was ever a time that Silicon Valley believed it could revive the long-deferred dream of reinventing money, this was it. A virtual currency that rose above national borders fitted right in with an industry that saw itself destined to change the face of everyday life. CHAPTER 19 March 2013 At the same time that Bitcoin’s reputation was getting a makeover in Silicon Valley, the physical infrastructure of the Bitcoin network was also undergoing an extensive transformation.


pages: 416 words: 129,308

The One Device: The Secret History of the iPhone by Brian Merchant

Airbnb, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Hangouts, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, John Gruber, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Lyft, M-Pesa, more computing power than Apollo, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, pattern recognition, peak oil, pirate software, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, special economic zone, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tim Cook: Apple, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, zero day

“I’m not afraid of general intelligence in a computer,” Gruber says. “It will happen and I like it. I’m looking forward to it. It’s like being afraid of nuclear power—you know, if we designed nuclear technology knowing what we know now, we could make it safe, probably.” Yet critics like Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have raised concerns that AI could evolve more quickly than we could control it—that it could pose an existential threat to humanity. “Oh, it’s great,” Gruber says of the discussion. “We’re kind of at the stage now where the Elon Musks of the world are saying, ‘Look, this is going to be powerful enough to destroy the earth. Now how do we want to deal with the technology?’ And I don’t like the way that we have dealt with nuclear, but it hasn’t killed us. I think we can do a lot better, but we have managed to thread that gauntlet, where we made it through the Cold War and didn’t kill ourselves.”

“And fossil fuel is a finite resource that is not renewable. A sustainable modern society must return to harvesting its energy from sunlight and wind. Plants harvest sunlight but are needed for food. Photovoltaic cells and windmills can provide electricity without polluting the air, but this electric power must be stored, and batteries are the most convenient storage depot for electric power.” Which is exactly why entrepreneurs like Elon Musk are investing heavily in them. His Gigafactory, which will soon churn out lithium-ion batteries at a scale never before seen, is the clearest signal yet that the automotive and electronics industry have chosen their horse for the twenty-first century. The lithium-ion battery—conceived in an Exxon lab, built into a game-changer by an industry lifer, turned into a mainstream commercial product by a Japanese camera maker, and manufactured with ingredients dredged up in the driest, hottest place on Earth—is the unheralded engine driving our future machines.


pages: 410 words: 119,823

Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life by Adam Greenfield

3D printing, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cellular automata, centralized clearinghouse, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, cloud computing, collective bargaining, combinatorial explosion, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, dematerialisation, digital map, distributed ledger, drone strike, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, fiat currency, global supply chain, global village, Google Glasses, IBM and the Holocaust, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late capitalism, license plate recognition, lifelogging, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, megacity, megastructure, minimum viable product, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, natural language processing, Network effects, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, Pearl River Delta, performance metric, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, post scarcity, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, sorting algorithm, special economic zone, speech recognition, stakhanovite, statistical model, stem cell, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, transaction costs, Uber for X, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce

This made use of each car’s existing suite of onboard cameras and sensors—a forward-looking, long-distance radar system to see through bad weather, cameras equipped with image-recognition software, and a battery of ultrasonic proximity sensors—to achieve a limited degree of autonomous operation. As far as Tesla was concerned, this capacity was meant to augment, rather than supplant, human guidance. That it was limited, however, wasn’t always clear from the company’s official pronouncements. “The car can do almost anything,” enthused CEO Elon Musk, talking up Autopilot at an unveiling event. “We’re able to do lane keeping on freeways, automatic cruise control, active emergency braking … It’ll self-park. Going a step further, you’ll be able to summon the car, if you’re on private property.” Anyone enticed by this reeling-off of capabilities—or his earlier brag that a driver could take a Model S from San Francisco to Seattle “without touching the controls at all”—could perhaps be forgiven for missing the hesitant “almost” with which he hedged the claim.10 Musk further touted his product’s almost uncanny ability to learn from experience, referring to each Model S owner as an “expert trainer” who could tutor Autopilot simply by driving with the mode engaged.

Else, “The ‘1033 Program,’ Department of Defense Support to Law Enforcement,” Congressional Research Service, August 28, 2014, fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R43701.pdf. 15.Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek, “#ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics,” Critical Legal Thinking, May 14, 2013; Novara Media, “Fully Automated Luxury Communism,” podcast, June 2015, novaramedia.com/2015/06/fully-automated-luxury-communism/. 16.Shulamith Firestone, The Dialectic of Sex, New York: Bantam Books, 1971. 17.Valerie Solanas, SCUM Manifesto, New York: Olympia Press, 1968. 18.Quoctrung Bui, “Map: The Most Common* Job In Every State,” National Public Radio, February 5, 2015, npr.org. 19.Elon Musk, “Master Plan, Part Deux,” July 20, 2016, tesla.com. 20.See the site of Amazon’s fully owned robotics subsidiary at amazonrobotics.com, and the video of one of its warehouses in operation at youtube.com/watch?v=quWFjS3Ci7A. 21.Pew Research Center, “Digital Life in 2025: AI, Robotics and the Future of Jobs,” August 6, 2014, pewinternet.org. 22.In fairness, while nobody invokes the Bui map directly, several of Pew’s respondents did point out that truck driver is the number-one occupation for men in the United States, and that alongside taxi drivers, current holders of the job would be among the first to be entirely displaced by automation.

October 14, 2015, teslamotors.com/en_GB/blog/your-autopilot-has-arrived. 10.Alex Davies, “The Model D is Tesla’s Most Powerful Car Ever, Plus Autopilot,” Wired, October 10, 2014; Damon Lavrinc, “Tesla Auto-Steer Will Let Drivers Go From SF To Seattle Hands-Free,” Jalopnik, March 19, 2015. 11.Roger Fingas, “ ‘Apple Car’ Rollout Reportedly Delayed Until 2021, Owing to Obstacles in ‘Project Titan,’” AppleInsider, July 21, 2016. 12.Danny Yadron and Dan Tynan. “Tesla Driver Dies in First Fatal Crash While Using Autopilot Mode,” Guardian, July 1, 2016. 13.Elon Musk, Tweet, April 17, 2016. twitter.com/elonmusk/status/721829237741621248. 14.Tesla Motors, Inc. “A Tragic Loss,” June 30, 2016, teslamotors.com/blog/tragic-loss. 15.Tesla Motors, Inc. “Misfortune,” July 6, 2016, teslamotors.com/blog/misfortune. 16.Fred Lambert, “Google Deep Learning Founder Says Tesla’s Autopilot System Is ‘Irresponsible,’ ” Electrek, May 30, 2016. 17.United Nations General Assembly.


pages: 677 words: 206,548

Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable and What We Can Do About It by Marc Goodman

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23andMe, 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Joy: nanobots, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Brian Krebs, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, data acquisition, data is the new oil, Dean Kamen, disintermediation, don't be evil, double helix, Downton Abbey, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Flash crash, future of work, game design, Google Chrome, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Gordon Gekko, high net worth, High speed trading, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, illegal immigration, impulse control, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, license plate recognition, lifelogging, litecoin, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, mobile money, more computing power than Apollo, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, national security letter, natural language processing, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, offshore financial centre, optical character recognition, Parag Khanna, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, personalized medicine, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, security theater, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, uranium enrichment, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Wave and Pay, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, zero day

Despite the obvious challenges, the exponential productivity boosts, dramatic cost savings, and rising profits attainable through artificial intelligence systems are so great there will be no turning back. AI is here to stay, and never one to miss an opportunity, Crime, Inc. is all over it. Al-gorithm Capone and His AI Crime Bots We need to be super careful with AI. It is potentially more dangerous than nukes. ELON MUSK As we learned in previous chapters, the malicious use of AI and computer algorithms has given rise to the crime bot—an intelligent agent scripted to perpetrate criminal activities at scale. Crime bots are foundational to Crime, Inc. and are responsible for its vast rise in profitability. These software programs automate computer hacking, virus dissemination, theft of intellectual property, industrial espionage, spam distribution, identity theft, and DDoS attacks, among other threats.

As such, we have no alternative other than to seriously consider the steps we need to take now to protect the world’s original operating system. The Final Frontier: Space, Nano, and Quantum The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. JOHN F. KENNEDY Though the space shuttle program has ended, much research and activity in the field of space science continues, particularly with private companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic commercializing space transportation. Another space company, Planetary Resources, founded in 2012 by Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson, intends to bring the natural resources of space to within humanity’s reach by landing robots on asteroids and mining them for raw materials, using ultralow-cost 3-D printed spacecraft. Though it may be difficult to fathom, criminals and terrorists alike will attempt to harness space technologies to their advantage.

Look at the amazing feats the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has accomplished in fighting HIV, eradicating polio, and supporting education, distributing an amazing $26 billion of Mr. Gates’s wealth since the foundation’s creation. But they are not alone, and there is indeed a new breed of “techno-philanthropists” out there, committed to using their wealth to better the world. eBay’s first president, Jeff Skoll, has worked tirelessly crusading against pandemics and nuclear proliferation, endowing his foundation with nearly $1 billion of his own funds. Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Paul Allen, Steve Case, Larry Ellison, Mo Ibrahim, Sir Richard Branson, and Michael Bloomberg have all incredibly generously signed “The Giving Pledge,” committing to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. These individuals have personal passions that they are actively supporting with their wealth, ranging from good governance to child development. Given that most of those above earned all or part of their wealth working in technology, funding an XPRIZE focused on this topic would make great strides in combating the emerging technological threats before us and, with their expertise in the field, could make a huge difference.


pages: 311 words: 17,232

Living in a Material World: The Commodity Connection by Kevin Morrison

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barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, commodity trading advisor, computerized trading, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, energy security, European colonialism, flex fuel, food miles, Hernando de Soto, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Long Term Capital Management, new economy, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, price mechanism, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, uranium enrichment, young professional

The Indian-born entrepreneur has his own investment firm, Khosla Partners, which has a portfolio of renewable energy investments from cellulosic ethanol to solar technology, plastics, building materials and electrical efficiency. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are investors in Nanosolar, a solar-film technology group, and are promoters of plug-in cars as well as trying to make the company carbon-neutral. PayPal founder Elon Musk, who sold his electronic payments company to Ebay for $1.5 billion, has become the major financier of Tesla, the electric sports car. Craig Venter, pioneer of the human genome that cracked the DNA code first, is applying the same technique to plants in an effort to make biofuels from plants more effectively. The two educational institutions in California credited with nurturing the brains and talent that spurned the tech revolution, Stanford and Berkeley Universities, have also established their own clean energy research arms.

A decade later it has a new electric vehicle – the Concept Chevy Volt, which can run on electricity, petrol, ethanol or biodiesel. This is the spearhead of General Motors’ campaign to catch up with Toyota Motor Company, the maker of the hybrid pioneering car, the Prius. Launched in Japan in 1997, the Prius is a hit in Europe and the US. With ‘green technology’ the new economy of the 21st century, entrepreneurs see an opportunity for electric vehicles including Telsa Motors, founded by internet mogul Elon Musk, as do university research departments at points around the US, the UK, Europe and Japan; all of which will require more copper. Motor vehicles are big polluters; combined with air travel, transport as a whole accounts for 14% of global emissions each year. It has been 192 | LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD the fastest growing source of emissions because of continued increases in car transport and the rapid expansion of air travel (Stern, 2006).


pages: 304 words: 88,495

The Powerhouse: Inside the Invention of a Battery to Save the World by Steve Levine

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colonial rule, Elon Musk, energy security, oil shale / tar sands, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Yom Kippur War

If the Department of Energy sought to hold on to Envia, a federal grant recipient with a significant apparent breakthrough, it was acting no differently from Chamberlain himself. Wasn’t he forever speaking of saving America? Wasn’t that what the Hub was all about? The Hub was industrial policy. Sitting in his office, Chamberlain conceded that this was true. • • • Argonne and Envia were not the sole U.S. actors in the race. While they fought for prominence, Elon Musk, the South African chairman of Tesla Motors, became the popular face of electric cars in the country. A lithe, distant, and tall man with furry patches around the perimeter of his face, Musk had earned a fortune by cofounding and selling PayPal. Now, with his exquisitely designed Tesla, he had made electrics cool. To power them, he had in a way endorsed the ExxonMobil forecast: he had snubbed the race for a battery breakthrough and staked his ground on what was available off the shelf.

That meant that he was responsible for delivering the prototypes promised under the five-five-five criteria. He said he was “highly confident” that he would do so and thus create a new paradigm for American manufacturing. It would be Bell Labs 2.0. He said, “I’m hoping in five or ten years to be touring the country saying, ‘This is how it can be done.’” He watched electrics quietly moving ahead. The Volt for sure was a pioneering vehicle, but Elon Musk had pushed further—he had made electrics indisputably cool. With Tesla, Musk himself was now the most celebrated technologist in Silicon Valley. Toward the end of 2014, a mini-rivalry erupted: Musk hurtled into a contest with GM to produce the two-hundred-mile electric. He did not say he was in competition with GM—in his eyes, that would be demeaning. But after vowing for years to produce a mass-market electric by the end of the decade, he now said he would do so in 2017.


pages: 379 words: 108,129

An Optimist's Tour of the Future by Mark Stevenson

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23andMe, Albert Einstein, Andy Kessler, augmented reality, bank run, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, clean water, computer age, decarbonisation, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, flex fuel, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Leonard Kleinrock, life extension, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, off grid, packet switching, peak oil, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, the scientific method, Wall-E, X Prize

With no launch vehicle immediately to replace it, NASA must look to commercial providers to get its hardware and astronauts into orbit (if only to staff the International Space Station). Another reason was that SpaceShipOne provided a real-world demonstration of cheap commercial spaceflight. A number of commercial spaceflight companies have popped up in the last decade, most funded by billionaires looking for a new challenge and/or some ego food. Some are beginning to do serious business. Los Angeles-based SpaceX (founded in 2002 by PayPal founder Elon Musk) has already secured launch contracts from NASA and commercial satellite developers. The company claims it has developed all the flight hardware for its Falcon 9 orbital rocket, the Dragon spacecraft that is designed to sit on top of it, as well as three launch sites for less than the cost of one of NASA’s launch towers – all while making a profit. It hopes to be ferrying passengers to the International Space Station in the coming years.

There may be one of XCOR’s bijou rocket engines on a shelf, but simpler technologies like the vacuum cleaner are clearly not welcome here. As we talk, it starts to rain, the downpour drumming loudly on the corrugated metal roof. ‘Not everyone has picked up on the David and Goliath aspect of XCOR,’ says Jeff. ‘Richard Branson is pouring more money into Virgin Galactic in a month than we’ve spent in our history. You’ve got NASA doing billions and billions of dollars of its thing. Elon Musk pouring all of his money into SpaceX. Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos is funding Blue Origin …’ And yet, despite their underdog status, XCOR keeps being mentioned in the same breath as its far better-funded rivals. Talking to Jeff you don’t get any sense of ego. He’s trying to run a business – it just happens to be one that wants to make spaceplanes. That XCOR exists gives me more of a sense of a real spaceflight industry putting down roots.


pages: 352 words: 104,411

Rush Hour by Iain Gately

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Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Beeching cuts, blue-collar work, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, congestion charging, connected car, corporate raider, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Dean Kamen, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, extreme commuting, Google bus, Henri Poincaré, Hyperloop, Jeff Bezos, low skilled workers, Marchetti’s constant, postnationalism / post nation state, Ralph Waldo Emerson, remote working, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, telepresence, Tesla Model S, urban planning, éminence grise

Precisely this kind of meta-solution has been proposed in California, where building work on a high-speed commuter train service between Los Angeles and San Francisco looks set to commence after years of wrangling. The California High Speed Rail (CHSR) is budgeted at US$68 billion and projected to be in operation by 2029. The journey time between its headline destinations will be about three hours. Its locomotives and carriages will be painted in the California state colours of blue and gold. The project, however, has had a spoke thrown in its wheels in the form of a counterproposal by Elon Musk, a forty-two-year-old South African-born entrepreneur, who co-founded PayPal and is now CEO of both Tesla Motors and SpaceX. Tesla is the first-ever electrical car manufacturer to turn a profit, and SpaceX the first private company to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Musk’s success is down to flair and lateral thinking. When he started Tesla, most electric car manufacturers were building small autos for eco-warriors (who’d rather not be seen on wheels at all), or making wolves in sheep’s clothing – SUVs with large petrol and small ancillary electric motors – in order to take advantage of grants for green vehicles.

Some of the tubes in the roll could be feeder hypoloops, and others provide roadways for driverless cars. There would be arrivals and departures at each station every second, and ramps on and off at every road intersection. Auto-commuting and rapid transit would be yin and yang – two parts of the same unity. Perhaps a golden age of commuting is on its way. Unfortunately, it’s doubtful that it will be with us before Elon Musk retires to Mars. If basic comforts are unlikely to appear on public transport before Generation Now turn into pensioners, might it not be better to wish for, and work towards, an end to commuting altogether? If it can’t be perfect, then why have it at all? Two distinct schools of thought have prophesied the death of rush hour in centuries to come. Both think that this will be because of population growth, although their opinions as to what counts as too many humans are far apart.


pages: 344 words: 96,020

Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success by Sean Ellis, Morgan Brown

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bounce rate, business intelligence, business process, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DevOps, Elon Musk, game design, Google Glasses, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, minimum viable product, Network effects, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, working poor, Y Combinator, young professional

What if, I wondered, Dropbox could find a way to harness and amplify their strong word of mouth, making it easy and appealing for the early fans to evangelize to many more of their friends? Drew and I brainstormed with an intern Drew had roped into the effort, Albert Ni, and together we decided to create a referral program like the one PayPal had implemented to great success. The only catch was that the PayPal program had offered to deposit $10 into the user’s PayPal account, in exchange for referrals, and though the total cost had not been disclosed (cofounder Elon Musk has since revealed that it amounted to some $60 to $70 million), there was no way Dropbox could afford to “buy” users to achieve the level of growth they were looking for.6 Then it hit us: What if we could offer people something else they clearly valued highly—more storage space—in exchange for referrals? At the time Dropbox was using Amazon’s low-cost S3 Web servers (which launched a couple of years earlier) for its data storage, which meant that it would be pretty simple (and cheap) to add more space to their infrastructure.

Steve Jurvetson and Tim Draper, “Viral Marketing: Viral Marketing Phenomenon Explained,” January 1, 1997, DFJ blog, accessed September 13, 2016, dfj.com/news/article_26.shtml. 4. Eric M. Jackson, The PayPal Wars: Battles with eBay, the Media, the Mafia, and the Rest of Planet Earth (WND Books: 2012), 35–40. 5. Josh Elman, “3 Growth Hacks: The Secrets to Driving Massive User Growth,” filmed August 2013; posted on YouTube August 2013, youtube.com/watch?v=AaMqCWOfA1o. 6. “Conversation with Elon Musk,” online video clip, Khan Academy, April 17, 2013. Accessed September 13, 2016. 7. LeanStartup.co, “Dropbox @ Startup Lessons Learned Conference 2010,” July 2, 2014, youtube.com/watch?v=y9hg-mUx8sE. 8. Douglas MacMillan, “Chasing Facebook’s Next Billion Users,” Bloomberg.com, July 26, 2012, bloomberg.com/news/articles/2012-07-25/chasing-facebooks-next-billion-users. 9. Chamath Palihapitiya, comment on question “What are some decisions taken by the ‘Growth team’ at Facebook that helped Facebook reach 500 million users?”


pages: 357 words: 94,852

No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need by Naomi Klein

Airbnb, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collective bargaining, Corrections Corporation of America, desegregation, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy transition, financial deregulation, greed is good, high net worth, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Internet Archive, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, private military company, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban decay, women in the workforce, working poor

It’s about being willing to engage in a battle of ideas—during and, more importantly, between elections—that will take on the corrosive, and deeply bipartisan, wealth-worshiping worldview that created the backlash in the first place. Unless progressives learn to speak to the legitimate rage at the grotesque levels of inequality that exist right now, the Right is going to keep winning. There is no superhero enlightened billionaire coming to save us from the villains in power. Not Oprah, not Zuckerberg, and not Elon Musk. We’re going to have to save ourselves, by coming together as never before. And in 2016 we caught a glimpse of that potential. CHAPTER SEVEN LEARN TO LOVE ECONOMIC POPULISM Bernie Sanders is the only candidate for US president I have ever openly backed. I’ve never felt entirely comfortable with candidate endorsements. I made an exception in 2016 because, for the first time in my voting life, there was a candidate inside the Democratic Party primaries who was speaking directly to the triple crises of neoliberalism, economic inequality, and climate change.

Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, came out strongly against Clinton during the primaries, arguing that her track record on criminal justice and welfare meant she did not deserve the Black vote. But she also chose not to publicly endorse Sanders. The most urgent message of the 2016 election, she told me, is: “If progressives think they can win in the long run without engaging meaningfully with Black folks and taking racial history more seriously, they better get Elon Musk on speed dial and start planning their future home on Mars, because this planet will be going up in smoke.” It’s a message we need to learn fast. Because if Left populist candidates keep missing the mark, and Democrats keep putting up establishment candidates in their place, there is every reason to expect an increasingly belligerent Right to keep on winning. A Toxic Cocktail Around the World Trump thundered: All is hell.


pages: 559 words: 169,094

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, bank run, big-box store, citizen journalism, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, East Village, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, family office, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, Flash crash, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, smart grid, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, urban planning, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, white flight, white picket fence, zero-sum game

But it became clear that setting up an account on the PayPal website, which enabled transactions with anyone who had an e-mail address, was a far more popular way to send money than trying to get Palm Pilots to mate on a restaurant table (the mobile Internet was in its earliest, glitch-ridden stage). The e-mail idea seemed so simple that it would be only a matter of time before competitors figured it out. The pace grew even more frantic, with hundred-hour workweeks. The most dangerous competitor, X.com, founded by a South African immigrant named Elon Musk, was located just four blocks up University Avenue. Confinity held daily meetings on the war with X.com. One day, an engineer displayed a schematic of an actual bomb that he’d designed. The idea was quickly shelved. With his funding Thiel went on a hiring spree. He wasn’t looking for industry experience but for people he knew, people who were incredibly smart, people who were like him, Stanford friends like Reid Hoffman, Stanford Review alums like David Sacks and Keith Rabois, and Confinity’s cramped, spartan offices above a bike shop soon filled with carelessly dressed, badly groomed men in their twenties (Thiel was one of the oldest at thirty-two), chess players, math whizzes, libertarians, without distracting obligations like wives and children or time-wasting hobbies like sports and TV (one applicant was turned down because he admitted to enjoying shooting hoops).

It would be smarter for Romney to say that things could be much better, but getting there would be very hard and would take more than changing presidents. But it was a point that Romney couldn’t grasp. He assumed that the more optimistic candidate would always win. He assumed that things were still fundamentally working. For example, what about the information age? Wasn’t it working unbelievably well? Thiel, whom it had made rich, no longer thought so. At Café Venetia in downtown Palo Alto—the spot where Thiel and Elon Musk had decided over coffee in 2001 to take PayPal public, five blocks up University Avenue from the original offices of PayPal, which were across the street from the original offices of Facebook and the current offices of Palantir, six miles from the Google campus in Mountain View, less than a mile in one direction and half a block in the other direction from that secular temple of the new economy known as an Apple Store, in the heart of the heart of Silicon Valley, surrounded by tables full of trim, healthy, downwardly dressed people using Apple devices while discussing idea creation and angel investments—Thiel pulled an iPhone out of his jeans pocket and said, “I don’t consider this to be a technological breakthrough.”

Once you hit that inflection point, you’re under incredible pressure to hire people yesterday.” Biology joined with computation to extend life: that was the kind of radical future where Thiel was placing his effort and money. In the deadly race between politics and technology, he was investing in robotics (robot-driven cars would put an end to congestion, and not one more road would have to be built in America). After the sale of PayPal, Thiel’s old colleague Elon Musk had gone on to found a company called SpaceX, to make commercial space exploration affordable, and Founders Fund became the first outside investor, with $20 million. Through his foundation, Thiel funded research in nanotechnology. He gave $3.5 million to the Methuselah Foundation, whose goal was to reverse human aging, and he supported a nonprofit called Humanity Plus, dedicated to transhumanism—the transformation of the human condition through technology.


pages: 669 words: 210,153

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, Alexander Shulgin, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, blue-collar work, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cal Newport, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, Columbine, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, David Graeber, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Firefox, follow your passion, future of work, Google X / Alphabet X, Howard Zinn, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, life extension, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mason jar, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, PageRank, passive income, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, phenotype, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, post scarcity, premature optimization, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, software is eating the world, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superintelligent machines, Tesla Model S, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas L Friedman, Wall-E, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

“I also figured out that I could use my workouts as a form of meditation because I concentrate so much on the muscle, I have my mind inside the bicep when I do my curls. I have my mind inside the pectoral muscles when I do my bench press. I’m really inside, and it’s like I gain a form of meditation, because you have no chance of thinking or concentrating on anything else at that time.” ✸ Who do you think of when you hear the word “successful”? He mentioned several people, including Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Nelson Mandela, and Muhammad Ali, but his final addition stuck out: “Cincinnatus. He was an emperor in the Roman Empire. Cincinnati, the city, by the way, is named after him because he was a big idol of George Washington’s. He is a great example of success because he was asked to reluctantly step into power and become the emperor and to help, because Rome was about to get annihilated by all the wars and battles.

You do not want to be the fourth online pet food company in the late 1990s. You do not want to be the twelfth thin-panel solar company in the last decade. And you don’t want to be the nth company of any particular trend. So I think trends are often things to avoid. What I prefer over trends is a sense of mission. That you are working on a unique problem that people are not solving elsewhere. “When Elon Musk started SpaceX, they set out the mission to go to Mars. You may agree or disagree with that as a mission statement, but it was a problem that was not going to be solved outside of SpaceX. All of the people working there knew that, and it motivated them tremendously.” TF: Peter has written elsewhere, “The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine.

Jeff Bezos on Questioning Assumptions “Basically, every time I talk to Bezos [Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com], it changes my life. . . . [For example,] I’ve spent my entire life thinking that I want to go to Mars . . . it was on The Brady Bunch. I thought this was the best thing ever. “At some point, if I structure my life correctly, maybe I’ll get to go. I think it’s just so important for humanity to be able to do that . . . and I talked to Elon [Musk] a couple of times and was vastly inspired by everything that he and SpaceX are doing. . . . “I ran into Jeff Bezos a bit later and was saying I just got to talk with Elon, and I’m superexcited about Mars. I really hope that one day I can go. And Bezos looks at me and goes, ‘Mars is stupid.’ And I say, ‘What?’ He says, ‘Once we get off of the planet, the last thing we want to do is go to another gravity.’


pages: 380 words: 118,675

The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, airport security, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, bank run, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, call centre, centre right, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collapse of Lehman Brothers, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, game design, housing crisis, invention of movable type, inventory management, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kodak vs Instagram, late fees, loose coupling, low skilled workers, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, optical character recognition, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative hedge fund, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Rodney Brooks, search inside the book, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, Skype, statistical arbitrage, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas L Friedman, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, why are manhole covers round?, zero-sum game

I do think we have all our eggs in one basket.”10 He told Fast Company in 2001 that it would be great if the novel Dune, in which humanity has colonized other planets, was “nonfiction.” In an interview I conducted with Bezos in 2000, I asked him what he was reading. He talked about Robert Zubrin’s books Entering Space: Creating a Spacefaring Civilization and The Case for Mars. At the end of the conversation, I wondered when some brave Silicon Valley entrepreneur would start a private space company (this was two years before PayPal cofounder Elon Musk started his rocket company SpaceX). Bezos’s answer seemed particularly convoluted. “It’s a very hard technical problem and I think it’s very hard to see how you would generate a return in a reasonable amount of time on that investment,” he said. “So the answer to your question is probably yes, there probably is somebody doing it, but it’s not… when you go to venture capital conferences, it never comes up.

In 2011, a Blue Origin test vehicle spun out of control at Mach 1.2 and an altitude of 45,000 feet, leaving a spectacular fireball in the sky that reminded Van Horn residents of the space shuttle Challenger disaster. “Not the outcome any of us wanted, but we’re signed up for this to be hard,” Bezos wrote in a blog post on the Blue Origin website.13 A year after that, the company successfully tested the spaceship’s crew-capsule escape system. It has received two grants from NASA worth more than $25 million to develop technologies related to human spaceflight. Internet magnate Elon Musk, with SpaceX, and billionaire Richard Branson, the founder of an enterprise called Virgin Galactic, are pursuing some of the same goals. Bezos does not allow the public or media to tour his space facilities. In 2006, the company moved to larger headquarters in Kent, Washington, twenty miles south of Seattle. Visitors describe a facility studded with Bezos’s space collectibles, like props from Star Trek, rocket parts from various spaceships throughout history, and a real cosmonaut suit from the Soviet Union.


pages: 525 words: 116,295

The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives by Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, airport security, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, borderless world, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, drone strike, Elon Musk, failed state, fear of failure, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, invention of the printing press, job automation, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, market fundamentalism, means of production, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, Parag Khanna, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, Peter Singer: altruism, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Robert Bork, self-driving car, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, The Wisdom of Crowds, upwardly mobile, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

With this book, they are looking into their crystal ball and inviting the world to peek in.” —Michael R. Bloomberg “Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen’s thoughtful, well-researched work elucidates the staggering impact of technology on our daily lives, as well as what surprising and incredible developments the future may hold. Readers might be left with more questions than answers, but that’s the idea—we are at our best when we ask ‘What’s next?’ ” —Elon Musk, cofounder of Tesla Motors and PayPal THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF Copyright © 2013 by Google Inc. and Jared Cohen All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. www.aaknopf.com Knopf, Borzoi Books, and the colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc.

Our gratitude to all our friends and colleagues whose ideas and thoughts we’ve benefited from: Elliott Abrams, Ruzwana Bashir, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Branson, Chris Brose, Jordan Brown, James Bryer, Mike Cline, Steve Coll, Peter Diamandis, Larry Diamond, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, James Fallows, Summer Felix, Richard Fontaine, Dov Fox, Tom Freston, Malcolm Gladwell, James Glassman, Jack Goldsmith, David Gordon, Sheena Greitens, Craig Hatkoff, Michael Hayden, Chris Hughes, Walter Isaacson, Dean Kamen, David Kennedy, Erik Kerr, Parag Khanna, Joseph Konzelmann, Stephen Krasner, Ray Kurzweil, Eric Lander, Jason Liebman, Claudia Mendoza, Evgeny Morozov, Dambisa Moyo, Elon Musk, Meghan O’Sullivan, Farah Pandith, Barry Pavel, Steven Pinker, Joe Polish, Alex Pollen, Jason Rakowski, Lisa Randall, Condoleezza Rice, Jane Rosenthal, Nouriel Roubini, Kori Schake, Vance Serchuk, Michael Spence, Stephen Stedman, Dan Twining, Decker Walker, Matthew Waxman, Tim Wu, Jillian York, Juan Zarate, Jonathan Zittrain and Ethan Zuckerman. We also want to thank the guys from Peak Performance, particularly Joe Dowdell and Jose and Emilio Gomez, for keeping us healthy during the final stages of writing.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

Geraci, a religious studies professor at Manhattan College and author of Apocalyptic AI: Visions of Heaven in Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Virtual Reality (2010), came to Pittsburgh to conduct his research several years ago, Moravec politely declined to see him, citing his work on a recent start-up. Geraci is one of a number of authors who have painted Moravec as the intellectual cofounder, with Ray Kurzweil, of a techno-religious movement that argues that humanity will inevitably be subsumed as a species by the AIs and robots we are now creating. In 2014 this movement gained generous exposure as high-profile technological and scientific luminaries such as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking issued tersely worded warnings about the potential threat that futuristic AI systems hold for the human species. Geraci’s argument is that there is a generation of computer technologists who, in looking forward to the consequences of their inventions, have not escaped Western society’s religious roots but rather recapitulated them. “Ultimately, the promises of Apocalyptic AI are almost identical to those of Jewish and Christian apocalyptic traditions.

If someone believes that technology will likely evolve to destroy humankind, what could motivate them to continue developing that same technology? At the end of 2014, the 2009 AI meeting at Asilomar was reprised when a new group of AI researchers, funded by one of the Skype founders, met in Puerto Rico to again consider how to make their field safe. Despite a new round of alarming statements about AI dangers from luminaries such as Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, the attendees wrote an open letter that notably fell short of the call to action that had been the result of the original 1975 Asilomar biotechnology meeting. Given that DeepMind had been acquired by Google, Legg’s public philosophizing is particularly significant. Today, Google is the clearest example of the potential consequences of AI and IA. Founded on an algorithm that efficiently collected human knowledge and then returned it to humans as a powerful tool for finding information, Google is now engaged in building a robot empire.


pages: 515 words: 126,820

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World by Don Tapscott, Alex Tapscott

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, altcoin, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Google bus, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Lean Startup, litecoin, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, money market fund, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, off grid, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, performance metric, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price mechanism, Productivity paradox, QR code, quantitative easing, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, seigniorage, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, social graph, social software, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, unorthodox policies, wealth creators, X Prize, Y2K, Zipcar

—Alec Ross, author, The Industries of the Future “If ever there was a topic for demystification, blockchain is it. Together, the Tapscotts have achieved this comprehensively and in doing so have captured the excitement, the potential, and the importance of this topic to everyone.” —Blythe Masters, CEO, Digital Asset Holdings “This is a book with the predictive quality of Orwell’s 1984 and the vision of Elon Musk. Read it or become extinct.” —Tim Draper, Founder, Draper Associates, DFJ, and Draper University “Blockchain is a radical technological wave and, as he has done so often, Tapscott is out there, now with son Alex, surfing at dawn. It’s quite a ride.” —Yochai Benkler, Berkman Professor of Entrepreneurial Legal Studies, Harvard Law School “If you work in business or government, you need to understand the blockchain revolution.

Or it could release the private data from other servers or hold the data hostage until we human owners paid a ransom. Once machines have intelligence and the ability to learn, how quickly will they become autonomous? Will military drones and robots, for example, decide to turn on civilians? According to researchers in AI, we’re only years, not decades, away from the realization of such weapons. In July 2015, a large group of scientists and researchers, including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Steve Wozniak, issued an open letter calling for a ban on the development of autonomous offensive weapons beyond meaningful human control.53 “The nightmare headline for me is, ‘100,000 Refrigerators Attack Bank of America,’” said Vint Cerf, widely regarded as the father of the Internet. “That is going to take some serious thinking not only about basic security and privacy technology, but also how to configure and upgrade devices at scale,” he added, noting that no one wants to spend their entire weekend typing IP addresses for each and every household device.54 We do not recommend broad regulation of DAEs and the IoT or regulatory approvals.


pages: 222 words: 54,506

One Click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com by Richard L. Brandt

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Amazon Web Services, automated trading system, big-box store, call centre, cloud computing, Dynabook, Elon Musk, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, Kevin Kelly, Marc Andreessen, new economy, science of happiness, search inside the book, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, software patent, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Tony Hsieh, Whole Earth Catalog, Y2K

“We want to try to make it safer and lower-cost for people to go into space,” he said in 2003. At that time, the cost of developing this first stage was estimated at $30 million. Crazy? It’s not the first time that adjective has been applied to Bezos as an epithet. But in the age of scaled-back NASA budgets and missions, Bezos is one of a few super-rich entrepreneurs (including Sergey Brin from Google, Elon Musk of Tesla Motors, and Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic Airways) who are pursuing or funding private alternatives to NASA. Blue Origin is also filled with former NASA engineers and other space scientists. The company’s slogan is the Latin phrase “Gradatim Fero-citer,” which may be translated as “Step by Step, Courageously.” But Internet sites offer translations from “Bit by Bit, Ferociously” to “Step by Step, Arrogantly” to “By Degrees, Fiercely.”


pages: 202 words: 59,883

Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy by Robert Scoble, Shel Israel

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Apple II, augmented reality, call centre, Chelsea Manning, cloud computing, connected car, Edward Snowden, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, factory automation, Filter Bubble, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Internet of things, job automation, John Markoff, Kickstarter, lifelogging, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, New Urbanism, PageRank, pattern recognition, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart grid, social graph, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, urban planning, Zipcar

Broder, a respected New York Times reporter often assigned to the White House, took a Tesla Model S, an elegant electric sedan, for a test drive from Washington, D.C., to New England. He had planned to complete his ride in Boston but, instead, it was ingloriously aborted in Connecticut where the Tesla ran out of power and was towed away on the back of a truck. He photographed the power-sapped Tesla and reported having had a very bad experience in his Times review. Like Lutz, Elon Musk, Tesla founder and CEO, chose to blog his side of the story. Although Lutz had to count on his own credibility and persuasive abilities when writing his blog, Musk had a credible eyewitness to everything that happened between Broder and the Tesla. Like most luxury cars today, the Tesla collects and stores data on where it has been and what happened to it in a little-known device called an Event Data Recorder (EDR].


pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

The experienced coach is able to bring the most talented young coaches to inject new innovation into their systems and slowly build a network. If you look at the current head coaches in the NBA or NFL, the 80/20 rule applies. 80% of them usually have common roots in apprenticing with 20% of the head coaches of the past generation. Technology startups have started to develop “mafias,” or groups of successful entrepreneurs that can trace their roots back to a common source. Elon Musk (Currently of SpaceX and Tesla), Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn), and Peter Thiel (Palantir) all worked together at PayPal.42 Trajectory Theory—A Guide to Hiring an Apprentice (or Getting Hired) Three-time New York Times bestselling author Tucker Max has hired a lot of people to work in an apprentice-type position, and they’ve almost always gone on to be successful in future projects and companies.


pages: 177 words: 56,657

Be Obsessed or Be Average by Grant Cardone

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

Albert Einstein, Elon Musk, fear of failure, job-hopping, Mark Zuckerberg, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, white picket fence

Talk to an artist or athlete, someone who is obsessed with and constantly improving their particular talent, and see them come alive talking about that thing they do. You have to embrace this die-trying mentality. There can be no choices and no options. Yes, victory comes at a price—so does settling. Sure, you might be totally and completely insane. But you’re not going to stop. Because history shows that only the obsessed make it—people like Alexander the Great, Joan of Arc, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Elon Musk, Howard Schultz, Oprah, Vincent van Gogh, Steve Jobs, Christopher Columbus, Charlie Chaplin, Mozart, Michelangelo, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Jay Z, Beyoncé, Serena Williams, and on and on. There is no shortage of these people, and like them or hate them, admire them or detest them, we all know them! Whether or not you agree with their missions or how they got there, you can’t deny that they were obsessed—and that’s why you know their names.


pages: 238 words: 73,824

Makers by Chris Anderson

Amazon: amazon.comamazon.co.ukamazon.deamazon.fr

3D printing, Airbnb, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, business process, commoditize, Computer Numeric Control, crowdsourcing, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, factory automation, Firefox, future of work, global supply chain, global village, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, Network effects, profit maximization, QR code, race to the bottom, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Coase, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, slashdot, South of Market, San Francisco, spinning jenny, Startup school, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Whole Earth Catalog, X Prize, Y Combinator

Tesla will be making twenty thousand cars per year at this factory, which may sound like a lot, but still makes it a niche player in the global automotive business. But what’s smallish for cars is still massive for everyone else. The Tesla factory occupies part of a building nearly a mile long. It will employ more than one thousand people. It is already the biggest factory in Silicon Valley. If you’ve seen the movie Iron Man, you’ll have a feel for it. The film’s protagonist, Tony Stark, was modeled after Tesla founder Elon Musk, and the factory looks like nothing more than the movie brought to life. Part of what makes this factory so innovative is that these are not your regular cars. For a start, the Model S, which the factory will start with, is pure electric, which means that it shares as much with a laptop computer as it does with a traditional gas-powered car. Rather than complicated mechanical components such as an engine, transmission, and drive train, the Tesla cars have lithium-ion battery packs, electric motors, and sophisticated electronics and software.


pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game

The easiest way to get attention To get more attention, invest more in a product, build something amazing and let the collective sentience take over. If we qualify in the awesomeness stakes, then our audience will do the talking for us. The old model of under-investing in the product we sell so we could afford the distribution and media costs is now being reversed. If the product is amazing, is advertising really needed? Just ask Elon Musk of Tesla Motors. Tesla Motors is a Silicon Valley–based auto startup that makes all-electric vehicles. Tesla has no advertising, no agency and no chief marketing officer and it has no plans to run television advertisements any time soon. For 2012 and 2013 all of its production vehicles were presold. (Compare this to the $25 million in media Nissan spent on their ‘leaf’ electric vehicle.) The buzz Tesla Motors gets (through its new omnichannel media world) because it’s disrupting an entire industry with a better-looking, better-performing, safer and more futuristic vehicle is fuel enough for serious attention.


pages: 237 words: 76,486

Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account From Curiosity's Chief Engineer by Rob Manning, William L. Simon

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Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, Kuiper Belt, Mars Rover

We pointed out that rockets would require more than 1,000 pounds of additional fuel. This would not only put MSL above the launch vehicle’s lift capability, but we would also need to develop a whole new technology of flying our rocket engines backward supersonically against the flow, a technique that few had studied much less developed as a reliable way to land on Mars. (This technology, called “supersonic retropulsive decelerators,” is now being developed by NASA and by Elon Musk’s Space-X team.) Mike understood and quickly gave up his objections to the parachute. There are few things more satisfying than talking to a person who listens carefully to reasoning, weighs what you said, and is willing to change his mind on the spot if you’ve succeeded in convincing him. We were off to a good start. Now it was time for the headliner, Adam Steltzner, a mechanical engineer with a PhD in engineering mechanics who landed at JPL as a specialist in loads and dynamics.


pages: 281 words: 78,317

But What if We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present as if It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman

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a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, citizen journalism, cosmological constant, dark matter, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, George Santayana, Gerolamo Cardano, ghettoisation, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, non-fiction novel, obamacare, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Y2K

But this doesn’t translate, since (a) clearheaded McLaughlin was a speechwriter for Nixon, (b) one of the alleged liberals is often billionaire media mogul Mort Zuckerman, and (c) Pat Buchanan is on almost every single episode (and it would be impossible to find a public figure who’s as liberal as Buchanan is conservative, unless they suddenly hired Lena Dunham or Jello Biafra). To say The McLaughlin Group sometimes traffics in “outdated modes of thinking” is a little like saying Elon Musk sometimes “expresses interest in the future.” But this roundtable forces me to think about things I normally ignore—and not so much about politics, but about the human relationship to time. The McLaughlin Group pre-tapes its episodes on Friday afternoon. But they tape the show that runs during Thanksgiving weekend much further in advance, which means they have to ignore pressing current events (since something critical or catastrophic could transpire in the days between the taping and the broadcast).


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

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1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

But in the end, they are not equal; the handset is the ascendant vehicle, and the car is the architecture in slow disappearance.51 In conceptualizing how Stack transportation might evolve, it's tempting to suppose that the aggregation of systems into central platforms at the Cloud level would be replicated at the City layer such that atomized vehicles (such as cars) would be agglomerated into larger urban, regional, and continental megavehicles (such as high-speed rail). The economies of scale that are possible by regularizing and extending itineraries might parallel those of regularizing and monetizing other kinds of social interaction online. Elon Musk's perhaps real and perhaps speculative Hypertube project, which would send humans whooshing up and down California inside what is essentially a giant pneumatic tube, is exemplary, as is the tendency for cities to strategize economic growth through the enhancement of their airports (now “aerotropoli”) ensuring their inhabitants easy access to the rest of the global urban grid.52 Implementing such systems is obviously very expensive in both time and treasure.

Grant, “MDARS: Multiple Robot Host Architecture,” SPAWAR, July 10, 1995, http://users.isr.ist.utl.pt/~jseq/ResearchAtelier/misc/MDARS%20Multiple%20Robot%20Host%20Architecture.htm. 49.  Interview with Joan Didion in Shotgun Freeway: Drives through Lost L.A., directed by Morgan Neville and Harry Pallenberg (King Pictures, 1995). 50.  Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles, directed by Reyner Banham (1972). 51.  Benjamin H. Bratton, “iPhone City (v.2008),” in Digital Cities AD: Architectural Design 79, no. 4 (2009): 90–97. 52.  Elon Musk and SpaceX, “Hyperloop Alpha,” August 12, 2013, http://www.spacex.com/sites/spacex/files/hyperloop_alpha-20130812.pdf. 53.  Vicky Validakis, “Rio's Driverless Trucks Move 100 Million Tonnes,” Australian Mining, April 24, 2013, http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/rio-s-driverless-trucks-move-100-million-tonnes. 54.  Bruno Latour, Aramis, or the Love of Technology (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993). 55. 


pages: 319 words: 89,477

The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion by John Hagel Iii, John Seely Brown

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Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, Black Swan, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, game design, George Gilder, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Network effects, old-boy network, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pre–internet, profit motive, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart transportation, software as a service, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs

., “Creating a Trusted Network for Homeland Security,” Markle Foundation, December 2, 2003, http://www.markle.org/down-loadable_assets/nstf_report2_overview.pdf. 2 See Saxby Chambliss, “Counterterrorism Intelligence Capabilities and Performance Prior to 9-11,” Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security, A Report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Minority Leader, July 2002, http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2002_rpt/hpsci_ths0702.html. 3 John Franke, “SAP CEO Heir-Apparent Resigns,” March 28, 2007, TechTarget.com, http://searchsap.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid21_gci1249379,00.html#. 4 This and other details are drawn from Daniel Roth, “Driven: Shai Agassi’s Audacious Plan to Put Electric Cars on the Road,” Wired, August 18, 2008, http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/magazine/16-09/ff_agassi?currentPage=all. 5 An article in The New Yorker indicated that Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk may be no fan of Better Place. “I think Shai is going to spend a lot of money and not have a lot to show for it,” Musk said of Agassi. Nonetheless, to hedge his bets, Musk was making Tesla’s Model S with an exchangeable battery. Tad Friend, “Plugged In,” The New Yorker, August 24, 2009. 6 See Roth, “Driven.” 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid. 9 Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor, The Innovator’s Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth (Cambridge: Harvard Business Press, 2003).


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

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agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, working-age population, Y2K

Over dinner MacKay persuaded me that coal will keep being burned by nearly everybody, especially China and India, because it is so cheap. Therefore we have to figure out a way to burn it cleanly, capturing the carbon dioxide and burying it, or bonding it into concrete, or whatever it takes. In that light, Al Gore’s expensive TV ads deriding clean coal are a public disservice. In another shift, my fond hopes for space-based solar (page 81) have been dashed by Elon Musk, CEO of rocket-launching SpaceX and chairman of SolarCity. He informed me vehemently that even if access to orbit were free, the inefficiencies of energy collection and transmission rule space solar out as a viable source of baseload power on the ground. In a final energy comeuppance, I came to regret leaving fusion out of my nuclear chapter. Like most, I figured it was too good to be possible—zero mining (the fuel is hydrogen), zero greenhouse gases, zero waste stream, zero meltdown capability, zero weaponization.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

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Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

Luxury-car makers like Infiniti, Mercedes, and Volvo are rolling out models that combine radar-assisted adaptive cruise control, which works even in stop-and-go traffic, with computerized steering systems that keep a car centered in its lane and brakes that slam themselves on in emergencies. Other manufacturers are rushing to introduce even more advanced controls. Tesla Motors, the electric car pioneer, is developing an automotive autopilot that “should be able to [handle] 90 percent of miles driven,” according to the company’s ambitious chief executive, Elon Musk.3 The arrival of Google’s self-driving car shakes up more than our conception of driving. It forces us to change our thinking about what computers and robots can and can’t do. Up until that fateful October day, it was taken for granted that many important skills lay beyond the reach of automation. Computers could do a lot of things, but they couldn’t do everything. In an influential 2004 book, The New Division of Labor: How Computers Are Creating the Next Job Market, economists Frank Levy and Richard Murnane argued, convincingly, that there were practical limits to the ability of software programmers to replicate human talents, particularly those involving sensory perception, pattern recognition, and conceptual knowledge.


pages: 295 words: 89,280

The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger

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Albert Einstein, always be closing, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Columbine, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, impulse control, Jony Ive, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game

Dwight Eisenhower led the Allies to victory during World War II, and for that he was rightly celebrated. But if you don’t think he quietly enjoyed wearing an explosively beribboned uniform and a title like Supreme Allied Commander, you don’t know much about human nature. It is the same confidence—sometimes arrogance—that has allowed inventors and industrialists like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Elon Musk to press on in improbable ventures against extraordinary odds and create things that improve the world in big and meaningful ways, even if they make few friends doing it. Still, the heroic narcissist, the ingenious narcissist, the courageous narcissist are not the most common breeds. It’s the everyday, self-obsessed, pay-attention-to-me narcissist who is. Almost anywhere you look in your world, you have an ever bigger chance of finding one of them: in your office, in your social circle, in your arms—in yourself.


pages: 357 words: 95,986

Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work by Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, air freight, algorithmic trading, anti-work, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, basic income, battle of ideas, blockchain, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centre right, collective bargaining, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, deskilling, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, future of work, gender pay gap, housing crisis, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, intermodal, Internet Archive, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, late capitalism, liberation theology, Live Aid, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, patent troll, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, post scarcity, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, price stability, profit motive, quantitative easing, reshoring, Richard Florida, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Slavoj Žižek, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, surplus humans, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Future of Employment, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wages for housework, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population

During the golden postwar era of research and development, two-thirds of research and development was publicly funded.10 Yet recent decades have seen corporate investment in high-risk technologies drastically decline.11 And with neoliberalism’s cutback in state expenditure, it is therefore unsurprising that technological change has diminished since the 1970s.12 In other words, it has been collective investment, not private investment, that has been the primary driver of technological development.13 High-risk inventions and new technologies are too risky for private capitalists to invest in; figures such as Steve Jobs and Elon Musk slyly obscure their parasitical reliance on state-led developments.14 Likewise, multi-billion-dollar megascale projects are ultimately driven by non-economic goals that exceed any cost–benefit analysis. Projects of this scale and ambition are in fact hindered by market-based constraints, since a sober analysis of their viability in capitalist terms reveals them to be profoundly underwhelming.15 In addition, some social benefits (those offered by an Ebola vaccine, for example) are left unexplored because they have little profit potential, while in some areas (such as solar power and electric cars) capitalists can be seen actively impeding progress, lobbying governments to end green-energy subsidies and implementing laws that obstruct further development.


pages: 370 words: 102,823

Rethinking Capitalism: Economics and Policy for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth by Michael Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato

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3D printing, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, business climate, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collaborative economy, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Detroit bankruptcy, double entry bookkeeping, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, facts on the ground, fiat currency, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, forward guidance, full employment, G4S, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, investor state dispute settlement, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, Mont Pelerin Society, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price stability, private sector deleveraging, quantitative easing, QWERTY keyboard, railway mania, rent-seeking, road to serfdom, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the built environment, The Great Moderation, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, universal basic income, very high income

The recent rapid development of energy storage technologies in the wake of the growth of renewables—storage being a principal means to cope with the intermittency of solar and wind power—provides a powerful example. The cost of lithium-ion batteries has fallen by more than 40 per cent in the past five years. This revolution has only just begun and has yet to play out. One of the leading innovators in energy storage is the electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors. The company has adopted a radical approach to the problem of network lock-in.21 In June 2014, Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder, announced that his company would effectively make their electric vehicle patents public. But this was not technological altruism. In order to be able to sell more of their electric vehicles Tesla simultaneously needs an entirely new vehicle-charging infrastructure. And for that to be built, the scale of the electric vehicle market needs to be greatly increased. Musk realised that fossil-driven networks are hard to dislodge given the vast existing network of petrol stations, and vested interests of car dealerships, that make driving a combustion-engine car so much the norm.22 Rather than trying to win this battle alone, Tesla decided to expand the new market by stimulating the innovative resources of all car companies.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

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Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

He went on: Maybe we should set aside some small part of the world, you know, like going to Burning Man, [that would serve as] an environment where people try out different things, but not everybody has to go. And I think that’s a great thing, too. I think as technologists we should have some safe places where we can try out some new things and figure out: What is the effect on society? What’s the effect on people? Without having to deploy it into the normal world. And people who like those kinds of things can go there and experience that. It’s not only Page. Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk dream of establishing Learyesque space colonies, celestial Burning Mans. Peter Thiel is slightly more down to earth. His Seasteading Institute hopes to set up floating technology incubation camps on the ocean, outside national boundaries. “If you can start a new business, why can you not start a new country?” he asks. In a speech last fall at the Y Combinator Startup School, venture capitalist Balaji Srinivasan channeled Leary when he called for “Silicon Valley’s Ultimate Exit”—the establishment of a new country beyond the reach of the U.S. government and other allegedly failed states.


pages: 338 words: 112,127

Leaving Orbit: Notes From the Last Days of American Spaceflight by Margaret Lazarus Dean

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affirmative action, Elon Musk, helicopter parent, index card, Mars Rover, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, sensible shoes, V2 rocket

Her answers to questions are thoroughly well considered—her pauses between thoughts remind me of the pauses politicians leave themselves to scan what they are about to say for possible controversy—but a real love for what she does shines through. I came here planning to dislike SpaceX, and while Gwynne Shotwell doesn’t exactly defy my every expectation, I still find myself liking her in spite of myself. In part, I know that I am a sucker for women involved in spaceflight, for women in jobs traditionally closed to them, and I can’t help but suspect that Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder, had this appeal in mind when he chose her to run his space company. I’m at a postlaunch party, my second official EndlessBBQ (“It really is endless,” I joke on Twitter, before noticing how many other people have made the same joke), standing on the deck behind the Cocoa Beach Brewing Company with a few dozen space people. The sun is setting as I drink one of the microbrews made here and talk with Omar and some of the people I’ve met at launches and on Twitter.


pages: 296 words: 86,610

The Bitcoin Guidebook: How to Obtain, Invest, and Spend the World's First Decentralized Cryptocurrency by Ian Demartino

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3D printing, AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, buy low sell high, capital controls, cloud computing, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, forensic accounting, global village, GnuPG, Google Earth, Haight Ashbury, Jacob Appelbaum, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, litecoin, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Oculus Rift, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, QR code, ransomware, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, Steven Levy, the medium is the message, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Zimmermann PGP

It also showed there were no conversations with Visa or MasterCard; that Garza had promised more than 100 percent of his company away; and that he had borrowed untold amounts of money from Stuart Fraser, a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, a well-respected investment company. Garza appeared to have allegedly stolen money from both Fraser and his own company, led employees on, fired an employee he was having an affair with after his wife got jealous, had an estate sale before disappearing, sold his three cars, lied to others about how he obtained those cars (he said the Tesla was a “gift from Elon [Musk]” even though a purchase receipt was found in his email), and had trouble paying his business partners, among countless other improprieties. In most scenarios, this would be the end of a company. It would dissolve, everyone would go their separate ways and the customers would be left hoping the SEC investigation would get them some return on their investments. The problem was and remains that just because a coin was created by a disreputable person, and just because that coin has no redeeming qualities at all, doesn’t make the coin go away.


pages: 421 words: 110,406

Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--And How to Make Them Work for You by Sangeet Paul Choudary, Marshall W. van Alstyne, Geoffrey G. Parker

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Alvin Roth, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrei Shleifer, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, buy low sell high, chief data officer, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, data is the new oil, digital map, discounted cash flows, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, Haber-Bosch Process, High speed trading, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market design, Metcalfe’s law, multi-sided market, Network effects, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pre–internet, price mechanism, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, the payments system, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The leading sources of renewable energy, wind and solar, are both intermittent, which leads to mismatches between supply and demand. More efficient rechargeable electrical storage batteries could provide an answer. Tesla, most famous for its electric vehicles, is currently building a so-called gigafactory in Nevada that is expected to manufacture a new generation of powerful batteries that are capable of supplying energy to a home for up to two days. Sister company SolarCity—run by a cousin of Tesla chairman Elon Musk—which already controls 39 percent of the residential solar market, has announced that, within a decade, all of its power units will come complete with battery storage. The disruptive potential of this technology for the traditional utility industry is enormous; in fact, a 2013 report by the Edison Electric Institute warned, “One can imagine a day when battery storage technology or micro turbines could allow customers to be electric grid independent.”


pages: 366 words: 94,209

Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

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3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Instead of attempting to mitigate the destructive power of a now digitally charged corporation on the world by inserting a socially beneficial purpose, we may better look at the underlying financial premise: The corporation was invented to extract circulating currency from the economy and transfer it into profit. No stated social benefit is likely to compensate for the social destruction caused by the corporate model itself. In other words, even if someone like Elon Musk or Richard Branson creates an earth-shatteringly beneficial new transportation or energy technology, the corporation he creates to make and market it may itself cause more harm than it repairs. Yes, such corporations bail some water out of the sinking ship, but they are, themselves, the cause of the leak. In fact, none of these new corporate structures addresses the central flaw that precedes each of runaway capitalism’s social, environmental, or economic excesses: the idea that more profit equates to more prosperity.


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

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3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

The reason this fanciful exercise is worth doing is because, while it is inevitable that we will manufacture intelligences in all that we make, it is not inevitable or obvious what their character will be. Their character will dictate their economic value and their roles in our culture. Outlining the possible ways that a machine might be smarter than us (even in theory) will assist us in both directing this advance and managing it. A few really smart people, like astronomer Stephen Hawking and genius inventor Elon Musk, worry that making supersmart AIs could be our last invention before they replace us (though I don’t believe this), so exploring possible types is prudent. Imagine we land on an alien planet. How would we measure the level of the intelligences we encounter there? This is an extremely difficult question because we have no real definition of our own intelligence, in part because until now we didn’t need one.

Frugal Innovation: How to Do Better With Less by Jaideep Prabhu Navi Radjou

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bretton Woods, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Computer Numeric Control, connected car, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Elon Musk, financial exclusion, financial innovation, global supply chain, income inequality, industrial robot, intangible asset, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, late fees, Lean Startup, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, smart grid, smart meter, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, women in the workforce, X Prize, yield management, Zipcar

Likewise, after spending millions on developing its Android operating system, Google gave away the technology so it could be incorporated into the maximum number of devices, thus securing a vast market for its search engine and other digital services. Google’s open-source strategy paid off: Android is now available in over 1 billion devices, overtaking Apple’s iOS as the world-leading mobile operating system. In June 2014, Elon Musk, the iconoclastic founder of Tesla Motors, an electric car manufacturer, shocked the markets by announcing that he was giving away its core technology to all companies in the sector, including Tesla’s rivals. Musk’s decision is motivated by “enlightened self-interest”; by opening up Tesla’s patent portfolio he can more rapidly expand the global market for electric cars – which today account for only 1% of US auto sales – and make electric vehicles more affordable and cost-effective to maintain.


pages: 386 words: 91,913

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham

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3D printing, Airbus A320, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, Y2K

When I ask her whether many of her colleagues will stay in material science after nearly a decade of study, she laughs, “You are not going to do that.” The other jobs being offered are too exciting and lucrative to turn down.25 We need to bring prestige and romance to toiling with metals and to start companies that ask big questions, which only advances in material science can answer: for example, how to build a more fuel efficient car and commercialize space travel. Visionaries like Elon Musk, the cofounder of PayPal who was admitted into Stanford’s material scientist doctoral program, has started companies that ask just those questions, Tesla and Space-X. We need more of them. Simply, we need to create excitement around material science as we have for entrepreneurship. Now 70 percent of millennials want to work in more entrepreneurial endeavors outside a corporate structure. We need that same level of excitement for science so Alonso’s colleagues will stay in the field.


pages: 331 words: 104,366

Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins by Garry Kasparov

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business process, call centre, clean water, computer age, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, Freestyle chess, Gödel, Escher, Bach, job automation, Leonard Kleinrock, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nate Silver, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, pattern recognition, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, rolodex, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

I remain an optimist if only because I’ve never found much advantage in the alternatives. Artificial intelligence is on a path toward transforming every part of our lives in a way not seen since the creation of the Internet, perhaps even since we harnessed electricity. There are potential dangers with any powerful new technology and I won’t shy away from discussing them. Eminent individuals from Stephen Hawking to Elon Musk have expressed their fear of AI as a potential existential threat to mankind. The experts are less prone to alarming statements, but they are quite worried too. If you program a machine, you know what it’s capable of. If the machine is programming itself, who knows what it might do? The airports with their self-check-in kiosks and restaurants full of iPads are staffed by thousands of human workers (most using machines) in the long security lines.


pages: 386 words: 91,913

The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age by David S. Abraham

3D printing, Airbus A320, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, commoditize, Deng Xiaoping, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, global supply chain, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, reshoring, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, Y2K

When I ask her whether many of her colleagues will stay in material science after nearly a decade of study, she laughs, “You are not going to do that.” The other jobs being offered are too exciting and lucrative to turn down.25 We need to bring prestige and romance to toiling with metals and to start companies that ask big questions, which only advances in material science can answer: for example, how to build a more fuel efficient car and commercialize space travel. Visionaries like Elon Musk, the cofounder of PayPal who was admitted into Stanford’s material scientist doctoral program, has started companies that ask just those questions, Tesla and Space-X. We need more of them. Simply, we need to create excitement around material science as we have for entrepreneurship. Now 70 percent of millennials want to work in more entrepreneurial endeavors outside a corporate structure. We need that same level of excitement for science so Alonso’s colleagues will stay in the field.


pages: 290 words: 87,549

The Airbnb Story: How Three Ordinary Guys Disrupted an Industry, Made Billions...and Created Plenty of Controversy by Leigh Gallagher

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Bernie Sanders, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Elon Musk, housing crisis, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, Justin.tv, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, Network effects, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, RFID, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the payments system, Tony Hsieh, Y Combinator, yield management

He met with Disney CEO Bob Iger but also brought in Jay Rasulo, the former Disney CFO who later ran all its theme parks; and the company’s former chairman for theme parks and resorts, Paul Pressler (who later served as CEO of Gap Inc.). “This product was designed around the principles of Disneyland,” Chesky says. He also met with his sources at other companies that had branched out: Jony Ive at Apple, and in probably the best, if aspirational, model for what Chesky is trying to do, Jeff Bezos, who had turned Amazon from an online bookseller into a mega-retailer. Chesky also says he took some advice from Elon Musk of Tesla. Musk cautioned him against becoming a company that gets so big that it enters what he calls the “administration era”: a phase of 10 or 20 percent growth that a company settles into after the “creation era” and then the “building era” and signals a mature business. “Airbnb will never be in an administration era,” Chesky vows. “It will always be in a building era. It will always be in a phase 1, phase 2 era.


pages: 574 words: 164,509

Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom

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agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, brain emulation, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, cosmological constant, dark matter, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, delayed gratification, demographic transition, Donald Knuth, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, epigenetics, fear of failure, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, iterative process, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Netflix Prize, new economy, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, nuclear winter, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, prediction markets, price stability, principal–agent problem, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, social graph, speech recognition, Stanislav Petrov, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, technological singularity, technoutopianism, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, Turing machine, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

For extensive discussions that have helped clarify my thinking I am grateful to a large set of people, including Ross Andersen, Stuart Armstrong, Owen Cotton-Barratt, Nick Beckstead, David Chalmers, Paul Christiano, Milan Ćirković, Daniel Dennett, David Deutsch, Daniel Dewey, Eric Drexler, Peter Eckersley, Amnon Eden, Owain Evans, Benja Fallenstein, Alex Flint, Carl Frey, Ian Goldin, Katja Grace, J. Storrs Hall, Robin Hanson, Demis Hassabis, James Hughes, Marcus Hutter, Garry Kasparov, Marcin Kulczycki, Shane Legg, Moshe Looks, Willam MacAskill, Eric Mandelbaum, James Martin, Lillian Martin, Roko Mijic, Vincent Mueller, Elon Musk, Seán Ó hÉigeartaigh, Toby Ord, Dennis Pamlin, Derek Parfit, David Pearce, Huw Price, Martin Rees, Bill Roscoe, Stuart Russell, Anna Salamon, Lou Salkind, Anders Sandberg, Julian Savulescu, Jürgen Schmidhuber, Nicholas Shackel, Murray Shanahan, Noel Sharkey, Carl Shulman, Peter Singer, Dan Stoicescu, Jaan Tallinn, Alexander Tamas, Max Tegmark, Roman Yampolskiy, and Eliezer Yudkowsky. For especially detailed comments, I am grateful to Milan Ćirković, Daniel Dewey, Owain Evans, Nick Hay, Keith Mansfield, Luke Muehlhauser, Toby Ord, Jess Riedel, Anders Sandberg, Murray Shanahan, and Carl Shulman.


pages: 588 words: 131,025

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine Is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

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23andMe, 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Anne Wojcicki, Atul Gawande, augmented reality, bioinformatics, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dark matter, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, global village, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, information asymmetry, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, lifelogging, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, Snapchat, social graph, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing test, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize

“The Patent Bargain: An Open-Source Patent Database Highlights the Need for More Transparency Worldwide,” Nature 504 (2013): 187–188. 94. E. Musk, “All Our Patent Are Belong to You,” Tesla Motors Blog, June 12, 2014, http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/all-our-patent-are-belong-you. 95. W. Oremus, “Tesla Is Opening Its Patents to All. That’s Not as Crazy as It Sounds,” Slate, June 12, 2014, http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/06/12/tesla_opens_patents_to_public_what_is_elon_musk_thinking.html. 96. C. L. Treasure, J. Avorn, and A. S. Kesselheim, “What Is the Public’s Right to Access Medical Discoveries Based on Federally Funded Research?,” Journal of the American Medical Association 311, no. 9 (2014): 907–908. 97. D. G. McNeil, “Car Mechanic Dreams Up a Tool to Ease Births,” New York Times, November 14, 2013, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/health/new-tool-to-ease-difficult-births-a-plastic-bag.html. 98.


pages: 497 words: 150,205

European Spring: Why Our Economies and Politics Are in a Mess - and How to Put Them Right by Philippe Legrain

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3D printing, Airbnb, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, centre right, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, debt deflation, Diane Coyle, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, interest rate derivative, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Irish property bubble, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, liquidity trap, margin call, Martin Wolf, mittelstand, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, peer-to-peer rental, price stability, private sector deleveraging, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, Richard Florida, rising living standards, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, savings glut, school vouchers, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, smart meter, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, working-age population, Zipcar

Precisely because Europe’s economies are so hidebound, there are huge opportunities for progress. Unleashing Europeans’ entrepreneurial spirit could make a huge difference quickly. Existing companies, governments and society as a whole need to be more willing to embrace risk. Think big We live in an age of diminished expectations. Europeans in particular tend to be afraid to venture out and try new things, let alone reach for the stars. We need more people like Elon Musk, a South-African-born entrepreneur. After making billions in the US from PayPal, the online payments system, he didn’t rest on his laurels. He founded Tesla, which makes fantastic (and profitable) electric cars. He set up SpaceX, a space travel company. Now he wants to build a Hyperloop – basically a solar-powered maglev train in a vacuum tube that would whisk passengers along at 760 miles (1,220 kilometres) an hour, three times faster than a high-speed train, and cost ten times less to build.705 Gloomsters argue that technological progress is grinding to a halt.


pages: 457 words: 128,838

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

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3D printing, Airbnb, altcoin, bank run, banking crisis, bitcoin, blockchain, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative economy, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Columbine, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, disintermediation, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, financial innovation, Firefox, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, hacker house, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, inventory management, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Kuwabatake Sanjuro: assassination market, litecoin, Long Term Capital Management, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, Menlo Park, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, Nixon shock, offshore financial centre, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price stability, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Satoshi Nakamoto, seigniorage, shareholder value, sharing economy, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, special drawing rights, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, The Great Moderation, the market place, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Turing complete, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, underbanked, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

There was Mondex, a U.K. company developing smart-card technology to store cashlike units on a digital chip embedded in credit or debit cards. It was abandoned after an underwhelming pilot on New York’s Upper West Side by both Chase Bank and Citibank. Credit-card companies also formed a consortium called Secure Electronic Transactions, or SET, to figure out how to make online credit-card purchases safe from hackers. And then, in 1998, PayPal was launched by Elon Musk, the serial entrepreneur now best known for his Tesla electronic car. The service allowed people to open up online accounts with the digital equivalent of dollars and send them to other PayPal users, including the new breed of low-overhead vendors using e-marketplaces such as eBay. None of these could do what DigiCash could do, but they didn’t need to. The market, at least as defined by the banks that controlled the financial system, simply wanted the existing system of payments and finance to translate into an e-commerce environment.


pages: 496 words: 154,363

I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards

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Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, book scanning, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, business intelligence, call centre, commoditize, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Googley, gravity well, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, John Markoff, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, microcredit, music of the spheres, Network effects, P = NP, PageRank, performance metric, pets.com, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, second-price auction, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, stem cell, Superbowl ad, Y2K

How Larry and Sergey Role Larry and Sergey, for all their opacity and their antipathy toward traditional thinkers, were easy to approach and easy to like. That was fortunate, since once I had tossed them the keys to my future, they had slipped behind the wheel of my psyche and taken it careering over bumpy back roads and slick mountain switchbacks. My ego struggled to keep a grip. They were twenty-six years old, but not the first successful young people to pass through my career. At the Merc I had met with Elon Musk of Zip2, who sold his startup for $300 million at age twenty-eight before helping to found a new venture called PayPal. Successful young technology executives were the crabgrass of the Valley, popping up everywhere and self-confidently calling attention to their greenness as they choked out the existing paradigm in one field after another. Annie, my boss at the Merc, was a decade younger than I was, yet she taught me how to respectfully disagree with superiors in the face of catastrophic decisions.


pages: 481 words: 125,946

What to Think About Machines That Think: Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence by John Brockman

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, complexity theory, computer age, computer vision, constrained optimization, corporate personhood, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, dark matter, discrete time, Douglas Engelbart, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, endowment effect, epigenetics, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, Flash crash, friendly AI, functional fixedness, Google Glasses, hive mind, income inequality, information trail, Internet of things, invention of writing, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, loose coupling, microbiome, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, natural language processing, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, RFID, Richard Thaler, Rory Sutherland, Satyajit Das, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart contracts, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, superintelligent machines, supervolcano, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y2K

It has the earmarks of an urban legend: a certain scientific plausibility (“Well, in principle I guess it’s possible!”) coupled with a deliciously shudder-inducing punch line (“We’d be ruled by robots!”). Did you know that if you sneeze, belch, and fart all at the same time, you die? Wow! Following in the wake of decades of AI hype, you might think the Singularity would be regarded as a parody, a joke, but it has proved to be a remarkably persuasive escalation. Add a few illustrious converts—Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking, and David Chalmers, among others—and how can we not take it seriously? Whether this stupendous event occurs 10 or 100 or 1,000 years in the future, isn’t it prudent to start planning now, setting up the necessary barricades and keeping our eyes peeled for harbingers of catastrophe? I think, on the contrary, that these alarm calls distract us from a more pressing problem, an impending disaster that won’t need any help from Moore’s Law or further breakthroughs in theory to reach its much closer tipping point: After centuries of hard-won understanding of nature that now permits us, for the first time in history, to control many aspects of our destinies, we’re on the verge of abdicating this control to artificial agents that can’t think, prematurely putting civilization on autopilot.


pages: 478 words: 126,416

Other People's Money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People? by John Kay

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, call centre, capital asset pricing model, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, cross-subsidies, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Akerlof, German hyperinflation, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, intangible asset, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, Irish property bubble, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, light touch regulation, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, loose coupling, low cost carrier, M-Pesa, market design, millennium bug, mittelstand, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Piper Alpha, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the market place, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, Yom Kippur War

But by this time ‘the Valley’ had a life of its own, and it continued to be vibrant even after Wall Street interest shifted from high technology to mortgage-backed securities. Fresh venture capital firms took the place of the four horsemen. The new businesses that continued to emerge were mainly focused on information technology and biotechnology, but the model has spread to some other sectors. Tesla Motors, the innovative electric car manufacturer, was founded by Elon Musk, another co-founder of PayPal. But the popular obsession with Silicon Valley should not lead anyone to believe that all successful SMEs are made in California. The business writer Hermann Simon has identified around two thousand firms he calls ‘hidden champions’, distinguished by a combination of modest scale (revenues below $4 billion) and world-dominant positions in niche markets.13 Most of their products are sold to other industrial firms and are items that most readers have never imagined buying.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

(The only thing missing is a high-speed railway to serve as the regional spine.) From San Francisco to San Jose, Silicon Valley has become one continuous low-rise stretch between I-280 and U.S.-101 that is home to over six thousand technology companies that generate more than $200 billion in GDP. (With a San Francisco–Los Angeles–San Diego high-speed rail, California’s Pacific Coast would truly become the western counterpart to the northeastern corridor. Elon Musk’s Tesla has proposed an ultra-high-speed “Hyperloop” tunnel system for this route.) And the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, the largest urban cluster in the American South, houses industry giants such as Exxon, AT&T, and American Airlines in an economy larger than South Africa’s and is actually building a high-speed rail (well, only 120 kilometers per hour) called the Trans-Texas Corridor that could eventually extend to the oil capital Houston based on plans rolled out in 2014 by Texas Central Railway and the bullet-train operator Central Japan Railway.


pages: 433 words: 125,031

Brazillionaires: The Godfathers of Modern Brazil by Alex Cuadros

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affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, big-box store, BRICs, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, facts on the ground, family office, high net worth, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, NetJets, offshore financial centre, profit motive, rent-seeking, risk/return, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche

“It was the craziest, fastest wealth creation ever, and it was the fastest to disappear, but it’s also the fastest anyone ever zeroed their debts,” he said, smiling wide as he thrust his hands up and down to illustrate his points. Godoy suggested a parallel with Donald Trump—who went through four corporate bankruptcies. “Don’t compare me to him, please,” Eike replied. “All he does is buildings.” Eike preferred to think of himself as an innovator like Elon Musk, the founder of the electric car company Tesla. Eike was willing now to admit mistakes—“I expanded too fast”—but he complained bitterly about his treatment in the press. Asked if he felt like a victim of unfair criticism, he nodded gravely. Did it hurt his feelings when people called his companies “PowerPoints”? Again he said yes, but threw his hands up and laughed, “PowerPoint?” The port of Açu, he said, had shipped its first loads of iron ore from the mining company Anglo American.


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

Now is the time to turn the tap back on, and get a leg up on over-cautious competitors who lack your insight into the bigger picture. Companies and entrepreneurs that are showing the way include: IBM, which in 2014 announced a five-year plan to bet 10 percent of its net income on post-silicon computer chips;30 Google (Alphabet), whose recent long-term bets include a new quantum artificial intelligence lab, self-driving cars and research into anti-aging drugs;31 and Elon Musk, a co-founder of PayPal whose moon shots include SpaceX (a space transport firm whose eventual goal is to colonize Mars) and Tesla (whose diverse aims include the mass-market adoption of electric cars, household battery packs to store renewable energy, and a 600-mile-per-hour hyperloop to transport people between Los Angeles and San Francisco). Dare citizens to fail Academic researchers and think tanks debate endlessly how to make public taxes, laws and regulations better.


pages: 559 words: 155,372

Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley by Antonio Garcia Martinez

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Airbnb, airport security, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, Burning Man, Celtic Tiger, centralized clearinghouse, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, drone strike, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Emanuel Derman, financial independence, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, social graph, social web, Socratic dialogue, source of truth, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, urban renewal, Y Combinator, zero-sum game, éminence grise

In the startup game, there are no real rules, only laws, and weakly enforced ones at that. In the end, success would forgive any sins, as it did for Gates and Jobs, and continues to do for countless startup entrepreneurs. Do we begrudge David the use of his sling, after all, against the towering giant Goliath? The Dog Shit Sandwich* Starting a company is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death. —Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX OCTOBER 2010 Adchemy was holding a legal gun to our heads. Fenwick & West provided us with our own gun, but the reality was we couldn’t afford a long-drawn-out standoff, as much because of the time as the money. The only way to win was to subtly find Murthy’s balls, and hold a cold, sharp knife up against them until he saw the light of reason. Given that corporate extinction and personal financial ruin were the alternatives, any means would be acceptable.


pages: 566 words: 163,322

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

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3D printing, Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, liberal capitalism, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

, have faded away, while those connected to hot new mobile Internet apps—including Jack Dorsey of Twitter, Eric Lefkofsky of Groupon, and Jan Koum of WhatsApp—have risen up to the billionaire list in recent years. Though Silicon Valley has seen protests over the growing disparity between techies and low-paid service workers, on the national stage tech tycoons are treated as celebrities. The billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, whose interests range from electric supercars to space tourism, is celebrated in scholarly reviews on how he is “changing the world.” There are many billionaire folk heroes from Silicon Valley, largely because consumers love the services they provide. WhatsApp gained seven hundred million followers in its first six years in business, which is more than Christianity gained in its first nineteen centuries, as Forbes magazine has pointed out.


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

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4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, Donald Knuth, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Thanks to many of those with whom conversation led in short order to many of the insights herein, and of whom the following is an incomplete list: Elliot Aguilar, Ben Backus, Liat Berdugo, Dave Blei, Ben Blum, Joe Damato, Eva de Valk, Emily Drury, Peter Eckersley, Jesse Farmer, Alan Fineberg, Chrix Finne, Lucas Foglia, John Gaunt, Lee Gilman, Martin Glazier, Adam Goldstein, Sarah Greenleaf, Graff Haley, Ben Hjertmann, Greg Jensen, Henry Kaplan, Sharmin Karim, Falk Lieder, Paul Linke, Rose Linke, Tania Lombrozo, Brandon Martin-Anderson, Sam McKenzie, Elon Musk, the Neuwrite group at Columbia University, Hannah Newman, Abe Othman, Sue Penney, Dillon Plunkett, Kristin Pollock, Diego Pontoriero, Avi Press, Matt Richards, Annie Roach, Felicity Rose, Anders Sandberg, Claire Schreiber, Gayle and Rick Shanley, Max Shron, Charly Simpson, Najeeb Tarazi, Josh Tenenbaum, Peter Todd, Peter van Wesep, Shawn Wen, Jered Wierzbicki, Maja Wilson, and Kristen Young. Thank you to some of the fine free and open-source software that made the work possible: Git, LaTeX, TeXShop, and TextMate 2, for starters.


pages: 472 words: 117,093

Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day

In addition to the interviewees who are quoted in this book, many others taught us a lot: Daron Acemoglu Susan Athey David Autor Jeff Bezos Nick Bloom Christian Catalini Michael Chui Paul Daugherty Tom Davenport Tom Friedman Demis Hassabis Reid Hoffman Jeremy Howard Dean Kamen Andy Karsner Christine Lagarde Yann LeCun Shane Legg John Leonard David Lipton Tom Malone James Manyika Kristina McElheren Tom Mitchell Elon Musk Ramez Naam Tim O’Reilly Gill Pratt Francesa Rossi Daniela Rus Stuart Russell Eric Schmidt Mustafa Suleyman Max Tegmark Sebastian Thrun But you can put off writing for only so long. After we had talked to a lot of people, and to each other a fair amount, it was time to put words on paper. This is an unavoidably solitary and strangely time-consuming activity. While it was going on, we needed our colleagues to carry on the work of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.


pages: 390 words: 109,870

Radicals Chasing Utopia: Inside the Rogue Movements Trying to Change the World by Jamie Bartlett

Andrew Keen, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, brain emulation, centre right, clean water, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, failed state, gig economy, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, life extension, Occupy movement, off grid, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, QR code, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Rosa Parks, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart contracts, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism

But there is little doubt that technology is developing at a terrifying rate, and will continue to shape our society in important ways. Take artificial intelligence (AI), something which most politicians barely mention. The overwhelming majority of transhumanists think that AI is a positive development: it will help humans become more intelligent, help us make better decisions and will open up amazing new avenues of knowledge and understanding. Perhaps it will. But perhaps it won’t. Elon Musk, the billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur, declared AI to be comparable to summoning the Devil and donated $10 million to research to make sure the super-machines of the future will be kind to us. Stephen Hawking said ‘the development of artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.’ Either way, and of more immediate concern, AI—or the ability of machines to replicate human decision-making—could leave millions without jobs.29 Google’s self-driving cars will replace drivers, drones will replace warehouse workers, machine-learning algorithms will undertake some (although not all) the work of lawyers and doctors.